Military Retirement Watch – Sept. 19

September 19, 2011 | Terry Howell

Military Retirement Watch – Sept. 19

In the interest of keeping our readers up to date on the Military Retirement Reform proposal, I will be posting a regular status report on any military retirement news.

It appears the plan to cut into the Military Retirement system is now a hot topic for the national media — even my local news paper featured it on the front page. This week the New York Times has reported that the intense push to reduce the DoD budget has made military retiree benefits much more vulnerable then they have been in the past.

The Times reports that if Congress fails to adopt the recommendations of the joint Congressional committee this fall, the DoD will be forced to find about $900 billion in savings over the next ten years. “Cuts that deep will almost certainly entail reducing personnel benefits for active and retired troops, Pentagon officials and analysts say.”

Secretary Panetta continues to say that everything is on the table. The idea that seems to be on the table and is most discussed is the Defense Business Board’s recommendation to replace the current system with a 401(k) retirement plan.

The use of key buzzwords like, “untenable,” “unfair,” and “illegal” to describe the current retirement program normally shows the bias of the officials being quoted, and the NYT article quotes several sources who use these terms to discribe the current retirement system.

Thankfully they do give some time for the other side of the argument by featuring a statement by the Military Officers Association of America Director of Government Relations, retired Air Force colonel Steven P. Strobridge, who said, “The whole reason military people are willing to pursue a career is because after 20, 30 years of extraordinary sacrifice, there is a package commensurate with that sacrifice upon leaving service.”

Unfortunately, as the article goes on to say, some experts expect that the draw back in Iraq and Afghanistan could make it easier to sell the DBB proposed reforms.

Send a letter to let your elected officials know how you feel about the proposed changes to the military retirement system.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. Instead of delving into a military retiree's hard earned and much deserved retirement., let's dig into the retirement quirks of these overpaid, and for the most part, WORTHLESS politicians who bleed our system drastically.

    • Jack Adkins says:

      I feel the same as you do.!!! Members of Congress and
      Senate are so darn overpaid now and there are worthless bunch off Jack-ass's that are doing nothing but lying to us and when they open their mouths, nothing but Crap comes out, that same as a Jack-Ass when he raises his tail to relieves himself.!!! You would not believe their retirement that they receive and still lie like HAIL !!!! Have A Great Evening..Retired & at 76, it is hard to make ends meet.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ditto that!

    • Couldn't agree with your statement more! Why do our nations lawmakers in Congress receive FULL PAY retirements for their "sacrifice?" It's utter BS…

      • I agree with most of what is being said here, but for the sake of accuracy feel that a clarification needs to be made. Members of congress don’t get full pay for life. They fall under the same retirement plan as gs employees.

        • Congress is under the same retirement system as civil service employees in name only. They receive a higher contrbution from the government than civil service employees. Look up congress retirement on internet. They need to discuss cutting their perks and benefits. I have have yet to hear any news story addressing this, nor any member of congress.

          • They are under FERS, receiving the same plan as the Federal Law Enforcement, which has a multiplier of 1.7%/year of service, vice the standard 1%/year of service. Like all FERS employees, not only do they pay into their retirement, they pay SS as well.

            Agree that it would be good for them to drop their plan to the regular FERS. FERS/LE has the higher multiplier because Federal Law Enforcement has a mandatory retirement age of 57, limiting their ability to earn a pension.

          • I believe a reasonable way to check the excessive benefits now provided to Congress is to change all of their positions to Senior Executive Service (SES) Civil Service positions. SES is subject to the restrictions and benefits prescribed to Civil Service retirement and also prohibits many of the practices that Congress employs in abusing the trust of their positions. One adjustment that would be beneficial would be to impose a Mandatory Separation Date (MSD) upon all members of Congress with an anniversary date coincident with the end date of their second term served in office. This way even if they lose re-election and then are re-elected again at a future date, they are out after serving a total of two terms. A retirement base on one or two terms at an SES level would not be anything extravagant thus requiring members of Congress upon leaving office to work like the rest of us to build a complete retirement package.

          • 1. Requirements for Congress are set by the Constitution alone. Any changes require changes to the Constitution.

            2. Congress is already under FERS, same as SESs.

            3. Voters can remove any congressman from office by voting him/her out at the next election.

            One more proposal for a constitutional amendment to force Congress to do what they're already doing. How about concentrating on getting them to fix the budget / debt issues, preserve the Union, etc?

          • woundedwarrior says:

            Funny thing is, if the voter removes them after a single term they STILL get full retirement and healthcare for life. So by doing that we just add another body collecting benefits

      • “Why do our nations law­mak­ers in Con­gress receive FULL PAY retire­ments?”

        They don’t. They fall under FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System” just like clerks at the VA do

        And they cannot start drawing that retirement AT ALL until they turn 62

        • woundedwarrior says:

          They get it after one term. And most of the people in Congress are already 62 or darn near it so your point is moot.

    • Couldn't have said it any better. But don't bet your retirement on it.

    • I believe the plan is to grandfather those who already receive military retirement. They would have to. We had no opportunity for an optional plan like 401K. However Tricare is going up significantly as is Dental.

    • Bingo!!!

    • YOU RIGHT INSTEAD DELVING INTO HARD EARNED MILITARY RETIREES OR BENEFITSOVERPAID POLITICANS WHO WORTHLESS SUPPOSE WORK FOR PEOPLE THAT VOTED THEM IN THROW ALL THEM OUTGET ELECTED FOR 4YRS WHEN OUT OFFICE GET PENSION FOR LIFE MEDICAL BENEFITS FOR FAMILY WHO DOES THAT MOST PEOPLE WORK 20YRS 25YRS OR EVEN 30YRS GET RETIREMENTSTOP POLITICANS GIVING THEMSELVES RAISES BUT CANT GIVE ACTIVE MILITARY OR RETIREES A RAISE BUNCH CRAP THROW THEM ALL OUT BOATS MILITARY RETIREE

    • Amen to that! My sentiments exactly!

    • Amen to that brother.

    • Frank Staples says:

      Roger that! Before we cut military pay/retirement, medicare or social security, how about enforcing current immigration laws instead of giving billions annually to people who aren't even citizens or paid a dime in taxes? What's it going to take to wake up America and our elected officials?!!!

    • Jimmy,
      I agree with you 100%. How is it that a politician can get elected spend 1 term in office and draw a pension for the rest of his or her life but a service member spends 20 to 30 years of their lives actually defending this country and they want to play with their retirement.

      • They don't. They're under FERS, and at 20 years, get 34% of their salary, payable at age 50.

        BTW – they also pay social security and pay for their health care via FEHBP, same as our civil service brethren.

        • That 34% is miss leading. They can get up to but not over 80% of their last 3 years in office. But with the current rate and the averaging that was taken in the articles I was reading, the average was 34% of the salaries of the current retirees, with that average retirement at 16 3/4 years. No were did I find any specific reference to the 34%, but only maxium retirement benifits limited to 80%. Considering a number of congressional members are millionaires, this is a mote point. And for a FYI, they don't have to vote for a COLA, it is automatic every year, unless it is voted down.

          • Read the report on the Senate site. Congressmen receive 1.7%/year worked. I then calculated that out. After 20 years, that works out to 34%. After 49 years, 1 month, that works out to 80%. Note that Military can earn 100% after 40 years, and 75% after 30. To get 80%, Military only needs to serve 32 years. Note also that Congress CANNOT start earlier than age 25 (Constitutional minimum age for a Representative)

            Also averages are misleading – is it median, mean, or mode? Also, does it include CSRS (the old Civil Service system, which paid better) or not?

          • And yes, I'm aware of the automatic COLA, are you aware they've voted it down since 2009?

    • This has been an on-going complaint of mine. How can people that do so little get so much. How can they deserve more benefits than those who have served in war and in peace. They sleep in a warm, dry bed every night, eat good food 3 times a day and see thier family very often. How can they deserve more than those who have served in our military? THEY DO NOT!!

      • That is exactly right!!! And when this nation stands up and stops putting these idiots into office and says NO MORE!!! Then maybe something will get done. We need a zero vote at the polls… We need an uprising just like in other countries until they hear the voice of the people!! Throw their butts out of office!!!

      • The problem with our society is that we are all volunteers. In saying that, I believe that it should be a duty to serve in a branch of service…say a minimum of two years prior to being eligible to attend an institution or start a “career”. It would increase the knowledge of the adult voters who elect their political representative. If you don’t serve…you don’t vote. And a branch of service isn’t just limited to military. We can open it up to boarder patrol.

    • Much agreed! My husband is deployed and has missed the majority of our daughters first year just to learn that his retirement is in jeopardy. I’m sure the more fortunate get to tuck their children in bed at night but my daughters father missed her roll over,crawl, sit up, and will soon miss her walk and her first birthday.

    • I'm a 28 year Air Force Vet, having served in Vietnam during the TET era. I'm now 67 years old and part of my dependency is from military retirement. Not only does Congress vote themselves a pay raise I can only imagine what their retirement benefits are. Right in the middle of the worst economic time our country has seen, Congress goes on vacation. Not to mention our President who takes more vacations in the last two years than I've had in my entire working career. I'm proud to be an American and I'm pround to have served our Country. It's just so sad that those folks in Washington can't think beyond what is good for them and then "good luck" to everyone else.

    • Wish I could have said that!!!

    • Just what I've been saying for years!

    • I don't know about the rest of the retired members, but if it wasn't for my retirement pension, I would have lost my house months ago. During that time I was laid off and drew unemployment, but that would't have been enough to pay my mortgage and other bills. So I was glad that I had that extra money coming in. I actually had one of my former co-workers ask me why I worked anyway since I drew a pension from the Army. I commented on this issue last month and had the same thoughts as JimmySan. From this date on, if they want to set up a 401K program for members that enlist after a certain date, then I think that might be OK, but even that concept is flawed because if an enlisted or officer doesn't have an incentive to stay in monitarily, they won't stay in. Love of country and duty only go so far. But I don't think there should be a discussion about touching the existing retirement system. What gets me is the people that are discussing the issue Have one(1) never served in the Military or two(2), are independently wealthy and don't really need the governments assistance to retire.

    • Amen…..Congress would be a great place to start!!!

    • I 100% agree. I am a military wife myself, and my husband wants to retire from it. I just cant stand how they keep picking on the military and their pay. If it werent for the military they couldnt even be sitting there and debating all of this There are other ways to stop the governments bad spending habits then to pick on the military who work hard for their money and we dont earn much either for all they do. Anyways i thank you for your thoughts on this and i totally agree with you. Thank you for standing behind our troops! =o)

    • Amen

    • Congressional retirement, et al., certainly costs a lot of money, they get more and better benefits than the military retiree. The government said, "Do this," and "We will provide you with that." Well we did as we were asked, and, at least since I retired, "they" have continuously renigged on "their" part. Don't mess with military retirement without messing with elected officials retirement.

      • Actually, as a percentage, they get less. In absolute terms, they get less than our retired Generals. And they pay for that privilege.

    • amen. kick the whole bunch out. and start over with term limits.

    • Dan Foster USAF says:

      You hit the nail on the head they are the main reason we are in thi fix

      Dan Foster USAF retired

    • FosterLittleUSMC says:

      I say lets cut their retirement out completely and not let them serve anymore than two terms. The idea of them receiving full pay after serving anytime, is so ridiculous it's pathetic. I know they have to tolerate Washington D. C. but that's the worst they have to contend with. Let's vote them all out and start over with a new batch.
      Foster

    • No Incumbents in 2012!!

    • Deborah Walach says:

      I agree, and we need term limits, write your congressmen, we have to be proactive with this and force them to make the changes. Congress should have the same retirement plan as civil service and should be paying into social security, just like everyone else. I would like to see Congress lead by example.

      • They do. They are under FERS, just like the Civil Service. They pay into Social Security. Their medical care is FEHBP, same as the Civil Service.

    • Amen! Getting really tired of the bloated, incompetent, arrogant leeches.

    • For those of you civilians out there who have never served, your knowledge of the military and the retirement system is infinitesimal at best. I served for 25 years, and, believe you me, it's a pretty rigorous lifestyle to deal with. Deployments are long, arduous events filled with exercises to keep our skills sharp are difficult, but absolutely necessary to keep our country free in the event of an emergency. Politicians sit in their cushy surroundings and think it is as easy and pays well, apparently. They wield their power by always crying about how much the military costs the nation. Our sea and air power are but a shadow of the past, because pet projects the politicians think are more important suck up money that could and should be better spent.. Politicians suck up and kiss up to many corporations so they can keep receiving funds for re-election. Many of those dollars, I bet, end up in the politicians pockets indirectly; the government is probably the most corrupt entity in this nation today. Let's get rid of the crooked politicians in 2012, and elect people who truly care about something other than their own greed and selfishness. Leave the military guys alone, or you may have to learn a new primary language in the not so distant future. We surely don't need the current liar-in-chief re-elected so he can continue to destroy America !!!!!!!!!!!

    • really well put. i go with my dad sometimes to the va hospital and what a joke
      i get better treatment in a civilian medical center than what my country serving selfless dad gets
      the staff acts like it is an inconvenience to treat the veterans with dignity and timely service. the wait time alone is just horrible
      talk about understaffed, go check out your local va center and you'll appreciate your doctor a whole lot more
      come on America, we have no problem sending our men & women to battle and all they ask for is due pay, due medical treatment and maybe a smile, wow, and we cry because paris hilton cant find a best friend, what a contry we live in

    • msgt/usaf/ret says:

      You are so correct on this!!! hoorah!!

  2. Brian W. Pray says:

    I sent a letter to both my Congressman and Senator last week expressing my deep concern for the military people programs. I am tired of hearing that military pay needs to coincide with civilian pay. When I was flying Army combat helicopters in VN and earning $12,000 a year, the only counterpart that was even close to what I and many like me were doing was the guys flying for Air America. They were paid $100,000 per year.

    Suggested there be a military tax for every able bodied citizen between the ages of 18 to 36 who elect not to serve their country. Wether it be $500 or $750 a year; that tax should go only to people programs to include pay and retirement. Have a select panel comprised of former combat military to handle those funds and keep it away from Congress. Those who serve 6 years in either the military or other public service like teaching in poverty areas, etc would be exempt. It is time these men and women receive the compensation they deserve. Remember….Freedom isn't Free.

    • Brian, I think you have a great idea! Why not…call it a defense of country tax that all who have not served will pay for their rights to enjoy breathing the American air! Love the idea

      • Brian, I just copied your commet and will be mailing it to my member of the House and both my Senators–GREAT IDEA. I am tired of people not serving their country; the only people i give a pass to are those that say after college work for either the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or something like that. Take two years off and work in a soup kitchen–do something, anything to give back to your country, our country.

    • G. L. Churchill, Sr. says:

      Brian: Your idea is one of the finest ideas I’ve seen in a very long time. Brilliant!

    • God bless you for the great comment, unfortunately the politicians couldn't care less about the military. Their ONLY concern is about THEIR benefits AND getting re-elected.

    • Sounds like a winning plan to me.

    • I recommend that each of us copy Brian's second paragraph and send it to our lawmakers.

    • great ideas!

    • I like your idea and your comparison to your pay in VN and commercial pilots pay. You can go further then that. The AF chief of staff with benefits probably makes $300,000 a year. That sounds great but how much does the CEO of any major airline make — with benefits and options? Add another ""0 to the end of that pay?

    • @Brian I would like to borrow your idea and send it to my Congressman as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

      CW3, USA, RET

    • Outstanding idea! This needs to be spread in Congress. Write your representative.

    • Mike Trapuzzano says:

      Your proposal for a military tax is excellent.

    • Great idea!! If we could draft them, why not make them pay for NOT serving?!! Love it!!

    • Good idea and why don't we add that congressmen,senators,presidenjts and any other elected offical not get a full retirement package after only just a 2 or 4 year term. Hell it takes us 20 plus years to only get 50%. Hey a thought, THE NEXT TIME THERE IS A CONFLICT OR WAR, LETS HAVE THEM GO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND SEE WHAT THEY THINK AFTER A YEAR DODGING BULLETS AND IEDS. That is excect the few that have already served in the military.

      • As others have pointed out, they have worse benefits than us. After 20 years, they can retire at age 50 with a whopping 34%. Oh, and they pay for it, along with SS and health care.

    • I totally agree with u, retired military RNV Vet. Check ur spelling 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence. Semper Fi

    • Fantastic, all should give something "if only Money"1

    • I agree with Brian for the most part. If you leave out "combat". I am here to tell you that the time I spent in the Navy was arduous. Maybe I was not getting personally attacked (well, not by the enemy at least) but my peers and I sacrificed a lot to do our duty.

      I am sure it was only an oversight, Brian. I admire your record and salute your service.

    • Brian, If you are running for office, you have have my vote. Strongly agree the folks in Congress need to cut back on the waste. That includes their fat cat retirement benefits.

      CW3 Army Ret

    • Great idea,The rest of us got drafted or joined up, that was our duty and obligation–There is no free lunch for freedom–Great job!! –Mike F USARMY RETIRED

    • Excellent idea. I believe that there are many people who get the benefit of those who serve but sacrifice nothing. This would be a great idea for them to give something back to those who are willing to axccept the challenge of giving up everything.

  3. Cutting gov't wast, wasteful pork barrel congressional projects, etc. would go a long way toward leaving military retirement system intact.

  4. Jim Turbyfill says:

    It must be very easy for those in congress who have a virtually untouchable
    And very generous retirement system to come after money from
    Those who have served and sacrificed. These "elite" 535 have put
    Our nation on the path to destruction in these past two years. A Great example of why term limits for the deadwood in congress would benefit our great nation.

    • johny minter says:

      I feel the same way, let's get some guys in there that has paid the price and know what it is like. Serve one term get 15 % serve two terms which should be the max get 25 %. Make them pay tax, and their medical just like the military retired do till 65. I could go on and on but everyone knows there selling down the river. Keep up the crappy work guys!

      • So you want to increase their retirement & health care? I'm certain they appreciate that.

        Reality check – they are under FERS & FEHBP, same as our Civil Service brethren. Check out with them what that is, and then see if you want to join? Hint: Our benefits are actually better.

    • Darrell Moore says:

      For the past two years? Try the last 10 years!

    • I agree, term limits for congress. The President has term limits, why not congress? Congress is the governing body of this country, not the President.

  5. I keep hearing in the news about how 38 year old retirees are receiving 50% of their pay for the rest of their lives. But in reality we only receive retirement pay on 50% of the base pay. This is really only about 25% of our total pay if we live in a high cost of living area, since our housing and food allowances are not included in the calculations. I wish the press would clarify that point.

    • Army Recruiter Wife says:

      As the wife of an Army Recruiter in the Bay Area, California (one of the hardest areas to recruit in), I could not agree with you more! My husband's "retirement" will not come close to covering our expenses and we have zero debt
      !

      • Actually, if you entered the service on or before September 1980 will you receive 50%. After that date you get 45% of your high three (last three years of active duty). This 45% will increase a little if you serve beyond the 20 yrs….
        Everyone thinks we "retirees" have a "sweet" pension; most of us have to get a second job to be able to live a comfortable life. If I had to live off of my pension alone, I would be eating mac & cheese and living in a one room apartment (if that).
        I am sick of all this crap. I know there are other places to cut, perhaps the study of the purple striped tree frog mating habits. I am being sarcastic, how ever there are other ways than taking monies away from our military personnel, veterans and retirees.

    • Sadly, I strongly recommend you don't hold your breath.

  6. Fire the whole bunch of them.. starting with the president….

    • No. just fire the Republicans. That's where our problems began.

      • Darrell Moore says:

        Lonnie, I agree!

      • Fire the libturds!

      • It hasn't been the "Republicans" that have constantly raped the Social Security System!!! It hasn't been the "Democrats" that attempted to reighn in spending and ever increasing Welfare Programs!!! It hasn't been the "Republicans" that railroaded an extensive Healthcare Program on our citizens!!! Everyone tries to put the blame on President Bush — I remind all that the purse strings are in Congress, not in the hands of the President AND during George W's Administration, it was completely a Democrat controlled House & Senate!!! We have "appointed" Czars that are regulating things to death and they aren't elected nor responsible to Congress. Am I for the Republicans — no — I'm FOR THE AMERICANS!!! Most of these current elected officials have NEVER had to function at menial positions of employment, serve in the Military or be subject to doing without!!! I voted against ALL incumbents last time and will likely do so this time. Unfortunately, until things are changed, it will only cost the taxpayer more as those leaving office will do so with significant pensions and health benefits for themselves and their families.

    • Great Idea!

    • james turner says:

      I totally agree, establish term limits six years or less on all members of the goverment and let them start drawing their retirement at age 60 like the reserves of the military

      • Term limits — ABSOLUTELY!!! Pension – not necessary with term limits. It won't change (either way) HOWEVER, as they aren't going to "cut off their noses to spite their faces"!! Do you think Congress would impose term limits on themselves??? Think again!

    • Right on, James! Especially O(bin ladin) bama!

    • im agree whit that

  7. redeye…. I would be the first to say, " I would be willing to do my part, even a cut in retirement. BUT only if our lawmakers agree to the same amount of pay that I receive as an E-8 that retired in 1970 after 22 years service. They should be ashamed to accept what they receive. On top of that they vote themselves a raise every year. Who but them can serve one term and retire with full benefits.

    • You know thats never going to happen. Why would these worthless POS spend millions to get elected and reelected if the bennies werent so good. Lets cut out all foreign spending stop rebuilding every stinken country that we have demolished to get to the enemy stop building anything untill we get $20.00 a barrel fuel. 120.00 a barrell OK 120.00 a bushell but our politicians a cowards their afraid to say screw you were not doing it anymore. Don't mess with our retired pay

    • Right on!!!!

    • Gary Polser says:

      Check your facts. They are totally worthless but do not retire with full benifits. Google congress retirement benifits and learn the facts.
      Gary Polser, CMSgt, Ret.

      • Google and snoops only tell you what their preferences are!

        • Sheila, your comment indicates your ignorance. Go to the Senate website and look up the Congressional Research Service report on the Congressional Retirement. They are under FERS, receiving the same plan as the Federal Law Enforcement (I'd prefer they be under the general retirement, but at least it's the same as part of the Civil Service).

          They pay for their retirement, they pay into SS, and they pay for their health care (yes, they are under a plan approved by the AHA past in 2009, contrary to popular belief).

    • Actually it is worse than you think. Congress passed a law that gives them an automatic pay raise each year unless they vote against it.

      • Which they have done since 2009 – no raises for them.

      • Howard your post is correct however some of the others are uninformed and uncorrect especially their retirement. Not quite like it has been posted not that I am defending our leaders but let's be factual in our criticism(sp).According to Congressional Research Service they do pay into their retirement and S/S also healthcare not sure just how much didn't give those facts.

    • Actually, their pay raises are automatic. They have to vote to decline the increases.

    • They do not retire after one term. Do a little research. If you are going to make statements, please only use facts not what you have been told.

    • Look at our 'elected' (appointed) officials (not elected, appointed by special interest groups). Most are worth well over a million. But will they take a 'small' cut in salary or expenses? No way! Guys…it is so sad what they are doing, not only to military but elderly on Medicare or retirees on TriCare. Balance the budget on the back of the ones that can afford it the least. It is really a shame!

    • JW (TSgt, USAF Ret) says:

      Right on, Redeye. I served in the Military and retired as an E6 after 38 years of faithful service and I receive far less then some government jerk who has done nothing but get fat while sitting on his/her behind and telling me and others like me that I'm not doing my part for twenty years. On top of that my military retirement is reduced by 20% (Service-connected disability) so Redeye. I would love to tell that jerk that he must have his/her pay reduced and see what kind of reaction I would get.

    • Dale Kephart says:

      That is correct and that I further clairify that they don not vote their pay raises it is automatic. They have to vote no to not get unless they recently made pay legislation for in reverse.

    • veteran.retired says:

      Who is going to take pay, pensions and health benefits away from our beloved congressmen and women?
      Who has that power … please enlighten us.
      These people are untouchable when it comes to legislation. They make the laws!!! They are not going to screw themselves … get real.
      Sure, we elect these people but then they can do whatever they want. Certainly you don't honestly believe they have the best interests of their constituents at heart … they get into it for themselves … they are all alike !!!
      So regardless of how we all agree that the 535 should be treated like they want to treat us, who is going to make that happen??
      Nothing is going to change the way our government operates short of a full scale revolution.

  8. The majority of the current congressmen have never served in the military (active or reserve) so they know nothing about what it takes or the sacrifices made by the miltary members and their families. If this happens they can also reenstate the draft because the days of all an volunteer force will be history. I agree that if the military retirement and benefits are on the line then congress needs to set the example by making the same changes to their system but you know that will never happen. They are the privilidged few who make decisions that effect every American except themselves.

    • " Bravo Zulu " You took my thoughts exactly. I am retired Navy 241/2 yrs..
      I have one Senator and one Congresswoman from Michigan who has written
      to me to state, they will fight for the rights and honor of our comrades now
      and retired. Good luck on retention???????

      • Haave also written but our 'busy' Senators are just too busy to respond!

        • Too busy with their "re-election" campaigns. Likewise, I've taken the baton to my elected representatives and they have, likewise, stated they will fight for the rights of the military members (active & retired). Problem — say what ever is necessary to get the vote!!! I' also a retired (30 year-USAF) military member, but I put little faith in what these politicians say or write.

  9. This is already happening. I a disabled vet Reopened my claim and was denied and they also reduced my disability % fro 70 to 60 . Figure that oneout

    • Andrew Heil says:

      Hi RJM, I have not even received mine yet, It has almost been a year, and I started it while on Active Duty before I was told to move out (retire). I can hardly wait to see how they screw me over, after from what I have I might as well go straight to DHS and apply for food stamps.

    • I guess thats one way to screw over Disabled vets. As we try to get more disability as our condition gets worse, just reduce our disability percentage instead of increasing it._

    • Fight it with a veterans service officer I.e. American Legion, VFW, purple heart. Don’t let it lapse make them pay.

    • Try this one RJM after 20 years of fighting with VA and Also being a disabled vet they finally recognized that i did have a heart condition caused by Agent Orange exposure, and brain abcesses, along with spinal meningitus, oh, almost forgot parkinsons disease plus taking 23 pills per day AND YET I AM ONLY 80% DISABLED A NOT UNEMPLOYABLE!!!!!!!!!!! P. S. I ONLY HAD A TOTAL OF 36 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE.

  10. Good point L.M.H. ;-)

    I'm ready to do my part and fight for our rights- We did it for our country and now is time to do it again for our rights. Now we have 100% of our time for this so bring it on. ;-)

    • My dad served for 28 years and he & my mom rely on his pension to live. it is so not right and pathetic that our Government is willing to even think of going after our men and women who willingly served their country with no qustions, and now the only question should be how could you??????

  11. Retired NCO says:

    If you had faithfully served anywhere at any time; with or without family at a salary that can be considered at barely above or below poverty level would you want the promised retirement monies to be cut while the "Elite" 535, illegal immigrants, career welfare and professional unemployed milk the systems? Who do you think you will get to enlist with that kind of program? Sure we can work more that one job at a time and go in harms way. We did and we did it gladly because we PROMISED we would. We did not reneg and neither should those persons that are now speaking with "forked tongue"!

    • YOU ARE RIGHT YOU FAITHFULLY SERVED YOUR COUNTRY FOR 20 TO 30YRS EARNED IT AND DESERVED IT THEY SHOULD RENEG ON IT CUT BACK FUNDING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS STOP PAYING FOR THEM GOING SCHOOL NOT LEGAL CITIZENS CAREER WELFARE CUT OUT HAVE MORE MONEY RIGHT PROFESSIONAL UNEMPLOYED MILK SYSTEM AS WEL AS THESE POLITICANS MILITARY RETIREES PAY YOU RIGHT BARELY ABOVE POVERTY LEVEL OUR PAY AND BENEFITS ARE NOT EVEN THIRD DEFECIT HOW CAN IT BE PART DEFECIT WHEN WE EARNED GO FIGURE THAT OUT

    • Retired NCO: You speak the truth in a "Den of Thieves" that we have in Washington these days. They make all the rules for us but live by but they live by the old saying, "Do as I say, NOT as I do". Them telling the truth is a fantasy dream.

    • You are on target, These Bums don't really care, we lived up to our oath, but they never have.

    • Quit crying about illegal immigrants!! They are not the ones stealing from the government, they dont want hand outs, they want jobs, jobs that the lazy wellfare sucking Americans are not willing to take. They are happy getting paid $2 an hour to keep your yummy salads and cheeseburger prices down because a typical US citizen would not want nothing less than $8!!! They kepp our food prices down. Get after these crooks in the government who are getting fat happy while the rest of us get screwed and yes, I was an illegal immigrant who now serves this MY country with Honor and courage!!! I serve to payback for the opportunity that the US gave me.

  12. Harry F. Ayers says:

    Why can't those who serve as senators and congressmen cut their own pay, that would go a long way to ease the debt. they get far more benefits than our military retired could could ever get

    • Wii a fos in a hen house leave?

    • Vicki Peterson says:

      Harry, I agree with you. the Congressmen should be the very first to give up the enormous salary, I retired from the Navy after 22 yrs, and the retirement pay certainly helps, i could not make it without it. Having a hard time finding a good paying job, something better than $7.25 hr. Oh, yeah, somone else mentioned "career welfare", I like that term also… fix that problem, get a job, there ARE jobs to be found. instead of sitting on their butts, having unlimited amount of kids, eating better than us, big screen tvs.. thats bull! It has to stop! VLP

    • You realize the entire congressional pay budget (per the 2010 budget), to include boht congressmen and staffers, amounted to $95 million? That is a "long way" to easing a $1+ TRILLION dollar deficit?

      Also, any pay changes to congress only take effect after the next election (most recent amendment to the Constitution).

  13. My dental just went up. I assume Tricare is next

    • Tricare is going up. Only a $60 increase first year, after that, the proposal is to tie the raises to HEALTH CARE inflation, not the cost of living index. Outgoing DOD secretary Bob Gates put that one on the table. It will probably be passed, but most likely raises, which will be yearly, will be tied to a normal COLA.

    • it already is in the works to go up by 15-25%.

    • I'm sorry but it already went up. And they also went up on our coe pay for drugs. Also they cut Walgreens out of the loop and they are not going to fill anymore tricare percriptions. dental is so high that I couldn't get it. And now Since i am 100% i also have to pay tricare and medicad, which is another 125.00 a month! So little by little they are getting it all back!!!

    • Oh yes it's coming. They are now also taking the prescriptions off the formulary list that we have been taking for years and we are having to pay 2 to 3 times the price for OTC- over the counter drugs. And they won't stop there. Wait til you see the amount we are supposed to have taken out of our Social Security check in 2017, think it was around $240.00 per month, that would bring my little 537.00 check to less than 300.00 a month. And you know what happens to hubby's retirement pay if he passes away first. Right, it's gone and I am back to below poverty level just like our pay in the 60's. But you know to them we are all just peons anyway and as long as they get their trips in AF 1 and take all their friends along to have a great time on our tax money who is it going to bother. Just vote them all out and start over. You there is nothing better than a clean house to start fresh.

  14. Billy Cooper says:

    What else is new? Things are starting to wind down or the drawdown as they call it, so the military are not to popular any more. Thats how it was after World War II, Korea, Vietnam. An then when the House and Senate have wastefully spent all the citizens money, Who do they want to stick it to first? You guessed it, It is the military, it always has been, and always will be. Sorry folks but its the truth.

  15. Tell Panetta he has know idea what the Military goes through. How about him and all in Congressmen take a pay cut. I'll bet most of them are in either the 6 or 7 figure a year salary. On the 401K thing it won't work cause then Congress will dip into it as they do Medicare and Soc.Sec. Like who ever brain child it was to take 4M from soc.Sec. to build a houseing plan and give the home to people on Welfare FREE, no monthly payments. Look what happen to the US Post Office when it was away from the Fed. Gov it made money that went back into it. Now back under the Fed's all of a sudden it is broke. Lets face it if they want money they steal from Seniors or any one else and get away with it. Look at Target they pay nothing to the US like other retail storys do. WHY!!!!!

    • Gunny, As long as they have the brain dead citizens that believe in this class warfare crap, we will always have crooks up there.

    • 401K has nothing to do with the government so they can't dip in; BUT that being said everyone i know who has a 401K through their job lost over half with Wall Street/Dow jumping up and down. With half their retirement gone they will have to work an additional 10-15 years to get it back IF they are ever able to get it back. Congress needs their retirement and benefits cut.

      • Don't let the politicians make you loose sight! Remember, this is a 'promise' from the government to the military..a promise! I know government promises mean nothing but don't let them let you take youir eye off the ball with this 401K idea. Vote them out!

    • Dennis Habern says:

      Hey Gunny:

      When was the U.S. Postal System, not under the jurisdiction of

      the Federal Government? In addition, I am not aware of the "TARGET"

      story. Are they similar to ACORN and Jesse Jackson and the rest of

      these criminal institutions?

  16. Wayne campbell says:

    Over the past 20 years the men and women of all services have lost benefits IE cost savings in the PX and commisary that was very benefical to lower ranking soldiers. They have incresed health care costs to the soldiers and now they want to thier retirement into wall street so they can steal it. We have lost benefits one by one until there is not much left. It is a shame thet congress would treat their protectors this way.

    • Carlton Campbell says:

      You are so right. The bastards have really hurt me in the past few years. It's a type of rape.

  17. I also sent my Representatives a letter informing them of my views on this subject, As a 60% service connected Army Veteran with over 20 years and 6 1/2 years of combat time. i am ashamed to say they are my(REPRESENTATIVES) because they DO NOT represent my intrests or the intrests of my brother and sister Veterans. If all Veterans and their family members would repeatedly contact the people we elected and tell them what we really expect of them maybe just maybe they would start to listen and do the right thing for OUR COUNTRY.

    • And what makes you think they will listen? They are just a bunch of greedy individuals who milk the system for all they can get. It is time to lower their salaries and make them put in at least four terms before being eligible for retirement and benefits.

    • Agree…but they do not care! We as a minority have no clout!!!

    • JW (TSgt, USAF Ret) says:

      A.J.: I retired in '92 after 27+ years of Honorable service as an E-6.
      Our so-called Leaders don't give a ##$% about us (Military), they see us as Uniformed uneducated, filthy low lives (Monkeys) (slaves) that they can use as they see fit and when they're done through us out with the trash.

      I know that I sound discouraged but I'm getting damn tired of being and seeing others being treated as trash. I haven't seen a raise in my Service connect disability, or Military retirement in years. While those jerks in D.C. have gotten a raise every year. VOTE THE BUMS OUT!

      GOD BLESS THE USA AND MAY HE WATCH OVER ALL OUR BRAVE HEROES THAT ARE IN HARMS WAY!

  18. How unfair is it for Congressmen to draw full retirement after 2 terms of service for the rest of their lives who also vote their own pay raises for themselves ? They certainly don't have to sacrifice anything or risk their lives about trying to protect us from the nuts overseas that love to kill Americans. Also do away with all the "Zzars" that draw 6 figured salaries that are only duplications of committees that are already in place. The Zzars are useless tools of the Administration .Cutting those jobs would save a BUNDLE!!!!

    • 1. As many have pointed out, your first sentence is flat wrong. Congress is under FERS.

      2. The "Czars" (correct spelling) is a nickname given for various positions in any administration, back at least to the Nixon era – most of them are actually by law and the people have to be approved by Congress.

  19. Steve Ashmore says:

    What not fair is the Reserve Force that's has to wait until age 60 to start to draw retirement pay. I never who a thought that the Reserve Force would be consider a second class citizen. It just not fair these people worked just as hard and spent a lot of time away from their family's to.

    • Steve, the reserve forces typical tour is one weekend a month, and two weeks in the summer. Although recently many reserve forces are called to active duty for an extended period. They are not second class citizens; however, they don't put in the day-after-day service that our active duty folks do, and don't move to a new location every three years. I spent 2.5 years in the Reserves, and another 22 years active. It wasn't until about 5 years before I retired I was able to finally purchase a home. Had I elected the civilian route, or remained in the reserves, well, do the math, my 30 year mortgage would be coming to an end, not merely beginning. So you can not compare the two. Now tell me what is fair.

      • Tim… yes, they were known as “Weekend Warriors” at one time, however I accumulated 7 years 10 months and 29 days active duty during my 13 years in the ANG and USAFR…. of my own free will and that does not include my 12 years in the active duty US Army… take a moment and do the math….. its called Sanctuary Zone.

        Yes, the minimum obligation 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year, and perform your MSObligation…. Always ask for the DD Form 214 after your active duty…..

      • Tim – when an active duty service member retires after 20 years of service, most will receive 50%, or 50% "high 3" of their base pay. Most of them are 38-45 years old. A reservist also retires at that age after 20 years of reserve service, but then has to wait 15-22 years on average to receive compensation. Here's the kicker – do you know what percentage of base pay a reservist receives when they turn 60? In the vast majority of cases, it's nowhere near 50% of base pay like an active duty retiree will receive. Instead, a reservists total participation is totaled up, then divided by 360 (not 365), then multiplied by 2.5. That product is the percentage of base pay they will receive. For simple math, if a reservist participates "2 days a month, and 2 weeks a summer" for 20 years – they would earn 48 points for drill weekends, and 14 points for their annual summer training. A reservist also earns 15 points per year for "enrollment" in the reserves. So, (48+14+15) * 20years = 1,540 points / 360 = 4.28 * 2.5 = 10.7% of base pay. Add to the points "boot camp", "OCS", and any additional periods of active / reserve duty to adjust accordingly. Even if a reservists DOUBLES their participation they would have only 21% of their base pay after waiting up to 2 DECADES to receive their pension. Still feel cheated?

    • For every year of active duty, you can reduce your retirement age by 1 year. So, if you serve 2 years of active duty, you retire at age 58.

      • Just where does this come from. I spent 4 years active. I left the ANG with a total of 22 years. I still can not draw retirement until I hit the age 60 which is one full year. I have never been told or have I read of reducing your retirement age by the number of years of active duty. I still keep getting printed forms that I am not allowed until next year. I know of two other person in the same boat. So someone has the facts wrong?

        • Ernest Medina says:

          I heard about reducing your retirement age by 1 yr for every year of active duty. My understanding is that it is for persons that served in OEF, OIF or in support of those operations, not 100% sure how true it is. Kinda like the post 9/11 education benefits for reservists, percentage of benefits are based on how long a person was activated,

    • Retired Soldier says:

      Well I served both active duty, guard and reserve time. 26 years total and I would it all again. It was my choice! The bottom line is you made the choice to serve in what ever aspect of service. That was your freedom of choice knowing the benefits that went along with the level of sacrifice you choose! Let be careful and mindful not turn this into a battle against oneanother and keep focus on the real target and that is just like what some of our other brothers have stated here and that is our government getting away with the things they do! Stop lashing on each and save for the real fight guys!

    • james turner says:

      I agree totatly, I spent 23 years in reserves and activated several times in the gulf war. Ask a congressman/woman what is a military serviceman's life worth and what is their life worth.

    • I have spent the last six years in the active army If you figur out all the feild time and all the day to day time that I have put in then I figur I have allready earned a reserve retirment pay check. If I need more work to feed my family because uncle same wants me to work 14 hours a day I have to get permission wear as a reservist dose not. Oh and when i have a hard time paying unexpected bills because i am not earing enough my boss says tough luck. If a reservist wants full military retriement pay then put up with all the same crap and he can have it. A reserist puts in 20 years and gets to retire with some thing and he has done as much for uncle same as i probly did during my first 4 years and thats if he deploys at least 3 times.

    • REALLY!! you compare a weekend warrior to active duty 24/7/365 a year?!!! unless they are active reserves take your complaining elsewhere.

  20. Chuck I - DAT says:

    The first thing is that the military at the pointee end of the sword is not a business. As such the retirement and compensation system used by business, defined benefit or defined contribution do not fit the model. If you are going to treat the soldier as an employee then you need to pay him overtime for working 72 hours straight and when he is deployed away from his family. How do you provide for the injured soldier, VA or VA and retirement or a separate system to covered the injury. Remember that soldiers are engaged in training and actual combat that people get killed and injured. The people who serve in congress for the most part have never served in the military and gotten that 3 AM phone call, you walk out the front door and do not know when you will return. I will agree that the present system is one that cheats the people who do not stay to 20 or more years. I would keep the present system that has a defined benefit at 25 years and above with a contribution for the soldier, and for those soldiers that do not stay to 25 (that is 82 percent) would have a 401k managed as they want that can be used at 59.5 years or later, contribution of up to 12% with the government contribution and additional 6%. Will provide a good retirement base and allow the soldier to have a basis for retirement planning. I would also take a careful look at how medical benefits are hand out after non retirement separation. The VA system is not what it once was and should maybe replace with TRICARE for all separating Soldiers moving the VA medical into the TRICARE account, I would also propose that the non retiring soldier be allowed to buy his family into the TRICARE system. Choice not chance.

  21. I'm suprized that the prez, isn't backing us vets.. How long did he stay in the military ??,(It's never mentioned). 28 years in the USAF, and I'm pissed..

    • thirl hornbrook says:

      he never served!!!

    • McCain Supporter says:

      Obama did not serve…he was too much of a coward

      • Well, from what I've read about "W", he served awhile in the reserves, but upon being called for duty in Veitnam, he got his daddy to pull strings to get his carcass out of going. Kind'a cowardly, don't ya think? Then the Repubs pulled that Swift Boat crap on Kerry in '04, at least he served in Veitnam, where the heck was Bush.

      • You know, the vast majority NEVER serve in the military – there's only so many slots, and it's not for everyone. Cowardice has nothing to do with it.

        Agree or not with his positions, he is the Commander in Chief.

        • Thankfully, I'm retired and Obama is not my Commander in Chief. I saw the writing on the wall and got out while I could with benefits. This idea of overhauling the military retirement system stiinks. People who have issues with the current system could have choose the same military career path we choose to take, but opted for other career fields. They made the choice…live with it. We need a leadership who understands the sacrificies made by the military members are the reason they have the freedoms and rights they take for granted.

    • The "PREZ" is not the one who controls your pay or benefits, Congress does. A majority of our presidents have not served in the military so quit your bias. The president and most senators and congressman have already said they won't balance the budget on the backs of the military. Listen and read alittle instead of shooting off nonsense!

    • Dennis Habern says:

      The moron in the white house has never worn the uniform, nor is he an

      American citizen.

      • You know, idiocy is hereditary. And in case you didn't notice it at the time, this talk of revamping the retirement system has been around since Rumsfield.

      • Disabled vet says:

        Talk about moron. President not a citizen u people are nuts. He never said he did like Bush who broke all the rules to stay out of the Nam while the rest of us served. I don't like what Obama is doing but he is the President and the office should be honored thats what we fight for. So u morons can sit around and try to figure the dumbs things u people can talk out of ur ass.

    • This President never served in the military!!!!! Where have you been?
      I, for one, would be willing to take a cut as long as every other program and person in Government took the same % of cuts.

      Also, No laws should be passed unless they applied to Congress and the President as well!!!

    • The current president has been a better friend to veterans than any other in the past 30-40 years. The new GI bill and fixing the VA are just two moves. Hate on him all you want but look at results.

    • Freeamericausa says:

      Does anyone reading this Military subject know…..When any MOS, RATING, or RANK in ALL of our military ever had an Obama Community Organizer JOB in Uniform?
      Obama is a Pretender, who has no idea what the meaning of Wearing a Uniform, or Serving One's Nation means.
      The man is a SHAM, a FOOL, and an Imposter who only wants his name to be remembered as our FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT….sadly….Clinton beat him to it.

  22. Why do politicians always look at other retiremet and benefit programs to cut instead of their own ridiculous retirement and benefit packages they give to themselves? As a reserve retiree, I am very concerned that Panetta and the Congress are even discussing benefit cuts for those of us that have served and are serving our country.

  23. Richard Nailor Sr. says:

    Let's not forget that we older retirees served for $75/month for a couple of years until we finally made Sergeant and rose to a spectacular $145.80 a month. As a Captain (mustant) I served two tours in Nam for $480/month and that included combat pay. I was promised free medical care but to get our Tricare my wife and I pay $2300/year (Medicare Part B) and co-pay on prescription drugs costs another $1500 a year. The PX and the Commissary are gone for all practical purposes. Both undersold by Wally World on every day items that most of us need. There is, for all practical purposes, no Space A Travel and the BRAC has closed many bases that retirees purposely moved near …gone. I spent nearly six years overseas, away from my wife and kids, during my career. When a congressman misses a night at home it's probably to take his mistress out. What's with these effete clowns anyway. Are they all clueless?

    • I think most of them have an Idea of what a service member sacrifice's over 20 years of service , the problem is they just don't give a damn what happens to our benifets , as long as it dosen't hurt them.. There game is to make as much mney and wealth as they can while they are in office from lobbiest kickers and s o on and when they retire at over a100,000 a year they will be smiling every day on there way to the golf course…….

      • Amen…they do not care! I am 75 years old and most of my years in the service was very low pay! So my retirement is very small. Now they say 'that is too much, let's cut that!!!' It is really so very sad, not only for present retirees but the fact they are going to ruin the military enlistment program. Who in their right mind would ever join and reenlist for a second term!! Join, get your benefits and get out!!!

    • Dennis Habern says:

      Hey Einstein:

      Please clarify your statement that there is no Space-A?

      dennishabern@hotmail.com

      What is meant by the term BRAC?

      In addition, I remember those $78.00 per month days in the late 50's.

    • I enlisted when the basic training wage was $50 and my Korean war pay was $75. It is sick and saddening that Congress pitts themselves as the elite.
      SSgt Robert Mowrey, Ret.

    • David Baker says:

      I can personally vouch for a well known (in his day) congressman's night away from home with his mistress, when I assisted in his AF medevac from a European capital after he'd had a slight "heart attack" at his 5-star hotel, while my State Dept. counterpart was putting his little friend on a plane across town back to D.C.

  24. I am fed up with the Politicians taking away from the folks who served their country. They won't give up a &^*&thing and they have the nerve to take it away from the only ones who make it possible for the remainder of the citizens to live in a free country. I guess we are the chumps for sacrificing so much. I am in favor of saving tax payer dollars but do we need to ignore our military again……………. Shame on the politicians for even attempting to take it out of the retirement. How low can they go?

  25. Howard Reed says:

    Hello America,

    Gentleman, gentleman, ladies. Our congressional leaders are entitled to every cent and more they get paid and rack up in retirement packages . . . in their delusional minds.

    Most of these curs go into politics instead of serving their country for the big pay packages plus obscene perqs and the multil-million dollars retirement packages. The countries politicians have been screwing the military years before I decided to put on a uniform (1960) and retired (1981).

    They send us into places to face death defying tasks while they spend Americans hard earned money, party hearty and chase skirts and pants. They are wretched curs that should be ganged up on by 'We the people . . .', put into battle dress, given a gun, taken to front lines and forced to defend their nation. If they survive after an amount of time set by the people, they can return to their office and finish out their term. They will then deserve what they get as they will have been battle tested.

    The American people should be more careful about who they elect into office. Only the battle tested should be given consideration. Things would be different I am sure.

    The Turban Torpedo

    • Howard, The people of the USA dn't care, The potus said on the campaign trail that he was not for the soldier, if you are in this country illegal, or just a leech, you are in trouble.I just closed my business, could not afford the taxes rate of 35%. With income down, everything going through the roof, I had to get out.I could not afford to work to pay the government and take home nothing. They say I was one of the Corp's getting welfare, All that was depreciation of equipment etc. so with these idiot's we are in trouble.

    • Dennis Habern says:

      It sould be mandatory that all 535 Congressionals, to include the

      president, be required to wear the Uniform. Therefore, if the DRAFT

      was re-implemented, the product of our society would maintain a

      distinct outlook not susceptible to Political Correctness, if you follow.

    • I for one do not mind the dangers we faced in the mitary. Do not mind the small pay. Do not mind the conditions. I was spat upon during the Vietnam war. I remember having to wear civilian clothing in the US while on duty to keep from being attacked. This all was something I accepted by making the military a career. But now! We are being attacked by our own government! And, guys, there is not a d….thing we can do abouit it. Believe me. We just have to roll over and live with it…we have no clout! If we formed a lobby and offered our elected officials a bribe then I bet we could get something done!!

    • Amen. You should not have the right to vote until you have served.

  26. The deep pocket administration is again looking at how to throw away the dedication and sacrifices of our veterans. This is not a new tactic when the belt needs tightening, but rather a knee jerk reaction to look at things that cost the elitist establishment their own agendas. It is our combined efforts that count……do you belong to, and contribute to service group associations that fight these vultures on Capital Hill? If you don't help out your representative associations, don't yell about the crap that comes down. I like one idea posted by another (Brian)….charge a defense tax to all those that were too busy to serve their country in the armed forces. Why not pay for their freedom? FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

    • Yea I like that tax deal on the one's that choose not to serve, seeing that only 2 % of those eliegble to serve don't. at 750.00 bucks a year , Wow thats a lot of money.. I wonder why the prez or other politicans didn't think of that before, Oh wait a minute that would be 98% that wouldn't be voting for them .. Funny how that works isn't it .

    • Dennis Habern says:

      I really do not like this idea. During the Civil War, many male Americans

      paid to not serve. Every able American, male and female, deserves to

      serve their country in the Military, but not in the Red Cross or some

      similar organization. The DRAFT needs to be re-implemented to

      "CHANGE" the United States. Obama is not a good example of this

      thought because he is NOT one of US, but one of THEM, if you follow.

      During 19th century Europe, and before, it was an honor to serve in the

      military, now, many American citizens impart their words of wisdom

      to the effect that "LET SOMEONE ELSE DO THE DIRTY WORK." It is

      therefore no wonder that the United States appears to be on a downward

      spiral. When serving in the military is not viewed as an honor, then the

      economy as a whole will suffer because there is no sense of patriotism

      and cohesiveness. A strong military connotes a robust economy in

      most examples.

  27. First of all you should have served in the military to represent America! Second their benifits and the militarys should mirror each other. If you serve as a senator or representative for 20 years you will get 50 and Tricare Standard.
    Third start paying the military overtime like the civilian sector gets.
    All Polititions are failures!

  28. One of the fundamental problems with Congress is a lack of military service. With no real experience they must rely on the academic examination, which is beyond worthless.

  29. You have nailed it on the head…but to expound on this, the politicians are continually taking hold of everything to keep their standard of living high and then demanding that everyone else cuts back to allow that flow of capital to them. I am a reserve retiree and never have asked for anything, but I earned the small portion of my base pay and have seen it double in taxation. I am aware of the theft that has gone on within the social security funds by way of many "regrooming" of the laws that were in place to stop exactly that and still the politicians act as if it is their money whenever we seek what they have made us accept.

    This is exactly what is needed to remind people why they vote…not for someone who is not of a party, not someone pretty – A PERSON WHO WILL DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY WILL DO…THE SAME PERSON THAT VETERANS ARE IN THAT THEY DID WHAT THEY SWORE TO DO.

    Please forgive my soap box, I have long seen this coming as have many others. Can't even watch the news, listen to the radio….without becoming depressed and wanting to live somewhere else. I am truly disheartened and those whom I must listen to and who run things are only making it worse.

    Our ancestors had the basics: less finger pointing and more elbow grease.

  30. Let's start at the top, since the president is commander and chief, we should prorate his retirement by the number of years served (8 max for this guy). Then we should cut it by 50% and disallow any extras because retirement is determined on base pay only. Finally all cola increases should be with held as long as ours has been with held. The rest of the elected officials to follow.

  31. We should be looking at all the politicians retirement and benefits packages. Surely that will take a chunk out of the National debt. Some leaders are not looking out for the military…….. I can see this miles, miles away. If these career politicians have not served, needless to say most do not have a clue. Here's an idea! After the goverment contiue to make good on all the promises for every active duty service member and retiree. Let's go back to the draft……. Let's see how much leverage this get…….. Don't mess with the military retired system if you want to enjoy the freedoms that you do now.

  32. Allow me to clear up some of the misconceptions about Congressional Retirement, etc.:

    CONGRESSIONAL RETIREMENT

    FROM: http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL3

    “Prior to 1984, neither federal civil service workers nor Members of Congress
    paid taxes to Social Security, nor were they eligible for Social Security benefits.
    Members of Congress and other federal employees were instead covered by a
    separate pension plan called the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).”

    “Members of Congress first elected in 1984 or later are covered automatically
    under the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS), unless they decline this
    coverage.

    “Congressional pensions, like those of other federal employees, are financed
    through a combination of employee and employer contributions. All Members pay
    Social Security payroll taxes equal to 6.2% of the Social Security taxable wage base
    ($97,500 in 2007). Members covered by FERS also pay 1.3% of full salary to the
    Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

    “Under both CSRS and FERS, Members of Congress are eligible for a pension
    at age 62 IF they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible
    for a pension at age 50 IF they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after
    completing 25 years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of
    service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting
    amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final
    salary.”

    CONGRESSIONAL/SUPREME COURT MEDICAL

    FROM: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/congress-health-

    On-site Capital Hill Office of Attending Physician (4 Navy Doctors + Support Staff)
    Flat annual Fee of $503
    Consulting Chiropractor
    On-site Physical Therapy
    Consults from: Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, military hospitals, etc.
    Free treatment at Walter Reed Army Med Center, Bethesda Naval Med Ctr.

    FROM: http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/

    Federal Employee Health Benefits Program – They are NOT required to contract
    Menu of multiple available plans to choose from, some depending upon State
    Nationwide Fee for Service available to all
    State specific HMO, HDHP and CDHP plans
    Automatic Congressional Pay Raises

    FROM: http://factcheck.org/2010/01/retribution-fabricat

    “House and Senate members have not voted to give themselves raises. (2010)

    “There will be no House or Senate raise for 2011 either. Congress passed, and the President signed, H.R. 5146, which eliminates the automatic adjustment in pay for Members of Congress that would have taken place in 2011.

    • Wow…you mean they must live on $178,000(?) plus expenses for a year? Poor fellows. Got an idea….let them have mine and I will try to live on theirs!

      • You are aware most of our Generals make more than them? Also, they are responsible for our entire country – you really want to have the people responsible for that live in DC on around $50K/year?

        Have you run for Congress? If so, did you offer to give up your salary?

  33. I've said it before….in order to represent any military person….that person should have served a minimum of 4 years active service…..(a college degree doesn't get it)….pick up the weapon….sit behind a computer screen where lives are in your hands….You should not be a President, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, Senator or Congressmen….if you never served…..You want cuts…start at the top….not the bottom…..take a 45% pay cut…then you will see a major reduction in spending…..and not on the backs of retiree's….they've already screwed our medical benefits…now they want our money….B…..S….! Now let's get-r-done….get these people out of there.

    • Dst. Storm VN vet . says:

      Is it actually the President trying to implement all of these changes. The vast majority of the people in congress have never donned a uniform or had a terrorist bomb explode within their present. George W. Bush was supposedly in the reserve, but he was missing in action. It perturbs the heck out of me because they try to pass judgement on others. "Darth Vader never served yet for 8 years he reaped the benefits on the blood that true military personnel shed.

  34. Bravopickles says:

    How often do the vets and "old soldiers" of this country have to walk down this road? It's been the same after every war the US has fought starting with the Revolution. An old poem says it best:

    God and the soldier, we adore
    In times of trouble and not before
    When the danger past and all things righted
    God is forgotten and the old soldier slighted

    Bend over, spread your cheeks and prepare to receive, guys.

  35. MSgt. retired says:

    When the President of the United States does not support the military 100% it is time for him to go. But he will get full benefits and retirement after just four years. I'm sure that is Ok with him. Remember this when you go to the polls in 2012.

    • Yes please remember that President Obama has done more for the military in three years than Bush did in eight. It's very obvious that you don't have any idea what you are talking about. Did you live under a rock from 2000 to 2008?

      • Still active ET1 says:

        Nope, I lived in the military from 2000 to 2008. Morale was higher, we weren't living in fear for our next paycheck every time budget decisions went to the table, and our retirements weren't in jeopardy.

        I'd happily take the Bush military years over the Obama military years any day.

        • Why would you take bush over Obama? the reason the military is in this shape ,is because of bush . There is no way we should had been in Iraq at all

    • When the President leaves office, he will be entitled to a pension equal to a Cabinet Secretary salary, right now a little under half his current salary. He will NOT get full benefits and pension.

  36. JERSEY ANGEL 1 says:

    The federal government has everyone, civilian and military, jittery and insecure with their 'items on the table.' No one feels safe in their situation anymore. It is a wonder we all don't have a nervous breakdown due to worry. No matter what, we just don't seem to have any control over any of it. AND, the ones that are responsible for our fate aren't considering the effect their decisions are having on the people of this nation!!

    • Dennis Habern says:

      The reason that this mentality is in vogue, is the fact that the moron's

      in Washington, D.C., to include the president, are not on the same page

      as the citizens that have elected them, therefore, without the proper

      sense of monitoring, these vermin make their own rules,

      circumventing the Constitution and are getting away with it because

      every American, and especially those 535 Congressional imbeciles

      in Washington, D.C. are afraid to confront this pretender in the

      White House, solely because he is BLACK. Nobody in the United

      States wants to be accused of being labeled prejudiced, and therefore

      Obama is permitted to place the race card without opening his mouth, if

      you follow.

  37. steve foster says:

    I am active duty retired. It makes me sick to see my guys get unfunded after serving the best part of their lives for the defense of this country. You are going to treat me like a second cl*** citizen and then take my tac dollars to fund mosque building. You got a fight coming. **** yea you do. Politicians, ur *** is mine.

  38. Please consider who we are asking to enforce our contracts. This is the same institution that raped Social Security starting in the 1960's. The same people that stopped cost of living increases to our senior citizens and retired military to compensate for their self imposed raises. They have a Debt to address. If they ever need a volenteer force to protect this country again who will they call? What will they offer ?

    • JOHN CAIN says:

      HOMOSEXUALS AND ILLEGAL ALIENS!
      PINK UNIFORMS AND AN "INTERPRETER" FOR EVERY NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING ILLEGAL-ALIEN 'SOLDIER'?"

  39. Through out the history of this country, the military has always been the easiest to steal from when cuts are being discussed. On the few occasions when the military really stood up and objected to being lied to about benefits, they were put down harshly (Bonus marchers) during the Depression. There are existing photos of Generals McArthur, Eisenhower and Patton having a cigarette on the streets of Wash. D.C. after they turned loose infantry with bayonets and tanks on the marchers. The infamous "535" will steal from you in a New York minute. Sorry to be a wet blanket but facts are facts. I am a retired vet, 100% serviced connected disabled and expect to see my pension reduced at any time.

  40. It’s hard to believe that it has come down to this. We as American Vet’s voted these Brain Dead representatives into office. We let them lie to us that they have our country and us in mind. How many of them had to endure hardships and separation from our family? What more do they want from us? I say look into cutting their pay and benefits, cut their Heath care. Make them wait three months to see a doctor to see if you have cancer. Who is running this country? Let’s look into removing all of them from office.

  41. ALEXANDER J FIORE says:

    IT MAY BE TIME TO MARCH ON WASHINGTON, THIS TIME WITH AT LEAST ONE MILLION RETIREES AND DISABLE VETS AND WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE OUR 2ND AMENDMENT REMEDIES IF NEED BE, JUST LIKE THE TEA PARTY SUGGESTED.

    • This is the best idea yet!! Let's roll!!

    • It is odd when you think about it that the individuals society made promises to in order for them to make sacrifices, the same folks trained in military strategy and weapons, is the group you wish to screw over. Doesn't seem very wise to me, but hell I only served 20 years and enjoy donating money back to the government that seems to have turned it's back on us.
      I don't agree with the Tea Party for the most part but I think if around a million former miltary folks marched into DC in ranks and well organized it would probably scare the s**t out of every one of those guys up there. A lot more effective than just a mob, it would definitely give them reason to fear us as we are being led to fear their actions.

  42. This is all good and well…get if off your chest..but, also go out and do something about these politicians…go to campaign speeches and meetings see if the candidate or candidates are for or against doing the things that a being mentioned…you people serve for your right to do this…so do it…I served 8 years in the Army…highly decorated…two full tours in Vietnam…and was told that I was not the type of person that they needed to continue in the military….because of Nixon's up-or-out policy and two stolen promotions…I had to leave as an E-5 after making that rank within 18 months of joining the service…now, I see that the "yes, sir" bosses in the military are not arguing that much about cutting pay and benefits…I guess it has come down to serve only…no reward…and don't expect one!

  43. From what I have seen in these posting is one theme. If Congess is so quick to act on a raise for themselve lets make them work for it. Make them pay for there so called perks. I have to drive 10 miles to a doctor, they walk across the hall. If I am to be a member of a gym it'll cost me good money. They walk next to the Dr and into the gym. all of this at Capital Hill for the asking. I give up more than 20 years of my life in the protection of them and my country. (not that I regret any of it.) But I come away with a next to nothing retirement, and still pay for medical and dental that is a joke. Eye care is next to nothing as well. continued

  44. richard plamondon says:

    As long as we have the same reps in congress who vote for their own pay raises and never worry about their pensions and really don't understand the realities of War – we have to face it they don't live in the real world.

  45. Part 2 These Ladies and Gentelmen (terms are used lightly) serve one term and have a life time of protection The way I look at them is that they are some of the most able to pay for themselves than most of the rest of us. We need to come togeth and do several things. ! Install term limits, 2 get rid of the dead wieght, 3 take our country back and maker her great again!! Lets get back on track and make the cuts where they are needed. Not to social programs that help our people, not to those that take up the torch to teach our young people, not to the local police depts and fire depts. Keep it in our borders more than helping every cause in the world. Take care of ourselves first.

    • Note most comments! One Theme! Vote the out! But, regretfully, if you ask this of most people they will say 'lets vote them out but keep mine. After all, he is doing a good job!' They all need to go…don't judge their performance…they all need to go? Go to the polls with a list of incumbents and vote for the other individual and do this each election until they get the word! It may take a few years but after incumbents loose election after election, they will get the word!

  46. Let's dip into their retirement and see how fast they find cuts in other areas. they need to let common people likeus come in and run the budget and watch the cost go down…

  47. When congress cuts their entitlements (that have not been earned) then they might start looking at others areas to cut.

  48. Congress and some higher ranking military members which I'm ashamed to say are in the military should be kicked in the ass several times for even considering to do away with the military retirement plan.How in the heck did they even think of such a thing oh because there set for life duh in considering bastards. Lets make it a law no Congressman or woman after serving is entitled to any benefits once there tour is over and there service should not be longer than 2 terms.I bet they cry that they deserve a retirement for all the bs they put up with and dish out to us the people.

  49. I agree with the others about the politicians want to take away from us but will increases theirs.Why should they get a retirement anyways they make way more per year than any service memeber. Going to washington is not like going to VN, Iraq or any where else we had to serve

  50. Retired Navy says:

    Leave the troops alone! They have done their time! One must figure in the following: family seperation, constant deployments, missed holidays, missed birthdays, etc… Why doesn't Congress (both Senators and Representatives) go on a 401(K) plan vice having their outrageous pensions. Even if they resign, they receive their pension. For example…look at Mr. Weiner (former Representative from NY). He will receive his pension! And for what…making a laughing stock out of the US, Congress, constituents and himself! Again, leave the troops alone and ENFORCE ENTITLEMENT REFORM! We keep giving money to people and foster a lazy society so that Uncle Sam will take care of them. I have had enough of this. Only 1% of Americans actually have served in the Armed Forces…let alone retire from the Armed Forces. Leave the troops alone!!!

  51. Mad In Tennessee says:

    Can someone please tell me what the heck a politician sacrifices to justify their salaries and pensions? If it ain’t their blood or their life, then why do they need all those benefits (not to mention perks, and gifts)?

  52. Free health care for life for you and our family if you make a career of it…About as true as jobs 'created or saved'…

  53. Chas Browning says:

    Our congressional nerds (not leaders) have no care or concerns for those of us who comitted our life to (my 23 year career) to protecting their freedoms. With all the talk of cutting there has never been mention of cutting their medical, pay or retirement pay. They just don't give a darrm. I like many of you will let my nerds know I am not willing to take this without a fight. Oh, yea I spent two tours in the Nam, while most of them were finding ways to not serve the country. Wonder why they became politicians could it have been for the pay and GREAT benefits for life even if they only served one term. WOW!

  54. Touching or even suggesting to change the retirement benefits is simply tyranny in full momentum. What would some of our first Presidents say about this? Notice how b. hussein obama is NOT offering to reduce or change his 500k + salary and benefits? Why is that…..are [sic] "some animals more equal than others?"

  55. The Cities and States are attempting to do the same to Law Enforcement Agencies and Fire Departments personnel by having them give up benefits in pay and retirement. Most of them have also served in the Military prior to there current profession. Its time we all stand together and say pay us what we desire and don't take away what we have earned.

  56. I find it ironic that the Times would advocate for rolling back military retirements due to costs being untenable, yet fight tooth and nail for the unions to continue to get their pensions from the federal and state govt that employ them.

  57. Funny how they always go after the people first because the military industrial complex doesn't want any of their profits cut by getting rid of programs we simply don't need anymore, or cutting back on the programs we have. The people who run those machines only eat up 10 to 15 percent of the budget, but they come after us first. Here's what I have to say, see how well those machines work without someone operating them. DOD priorities are AFU.

  58. As a retiree of 19 years, I agree with all the statements. But isn't america getting what it wanted? "Hope and Change". I said from the start, if this guy gets elected it will be the biggest mistake this country has ever made. Just look at the number of veterans that voted for "change". Any military person or retiree in his right mind that pulls the arm on the voting machine for a Democrat gets exactly what he deserves. Ivoted Rep. always have because of their support of the military. If you are one of the ones who did vote for change (you know who you are!), you have nothing to complain about. You got exactly what you voted for.

  59. How about cutting the benefits of fat cat politicians who never spent one day in the military defending the country they profess to love so dearly!!

  60. I want to know what private company pays retirement to someone who only works for a few years like the NYT article stated.

    "Those critics also argue that under the current rules, 83 percent of former service members receive no pension payments at all — because only veterans with 20 years of service are eligible. Those with 5 or even 15 years are not, even if they did multiple combat tours. Such a structure would be illegal in the private sector, and a company that tried it could be penalized, experts say."

    • Jim…………What the article refers to is vesting in a retirement plan that does occur in some plans at 5 years, and in most plans at 10 years. It is not a great amount, but it is a vested interest in a retirement plan for short service. The article does not portray this for what it is, and does try to make an unfair comparison th emilitary retirement………..

      • Actually, BY LAW, any vesting cannot exceed 7 years. Most vest in 3-5 years. Note that FERS, the same system both the Civil Service and Congress are under, vests in 5 years.

    • Thanks guys I wasn’t sure what they were talking about, I still think that it is BS that you do a couple of years and get any sort of money, it is bad enought if we kick you out you can get unemployment, or we offer money to seperate like they are doing now for DoD civilians we have one who had already applied for retirement and it looks like they are going to get money to retire on the same date as they had requested. I think they just need to leave the military retirement alone, even tho they said the new plan would only apply to those who are on active duty now. I am not holding my breath on that one either just like the medical and dental was suppose to be covered for life if you spent at least 20 years and retired, I spent 24 and I am having to pay for my medical and dental.

  61. The politicians like to give lip service to those of us who served in the military, but too often do not back up their words with action…Perhaps if some of these "Chicken Hawks" had actually worn the uniform of this country, they would not be so anxious to take our hard earned benefits away from us.

    Lets make cuts in the defense budget where it will really do some good…With the bloated defense contracts handed out to their crony friends from their home districts.

  62. billy stone says:

    If they change the retirement system from what it is now, and people still volunteer to serve under the new retirement terms then, that's fair. I mean, a person should understand what the contract their signing is all about. Where we'll get into problems is that young recruits will be lied to, deceived, or simply not informed as to details while being led to believe falsehoods. After all, haven't we all been there? I think the solution lies in organizations like the DAV, VA, American Legion, etc., getting some kind of program in place to see to it that young vulnerable recruits know the facts before enlisting. We all know that the DOD, and branch services aren't going to be up front with these young people. My other concern, and I really think it's only a matter of time (and not long off) before they come after us that have already retired. After all, our country is so broke it can't wait another 10 years to see the results of monetary savings and cuts. They've already shafted us out of a COLA the past three years, and the new COLA "formula" basically sees to it that we get none. Tricare is being targeted, VA medical is being targeted along with disability benefits. It won't be long before disability will be based on means testing. Which means that if you are entitled to SSD, and have over 20 years, they'll reduce what you're entitled to. I'd say we'll see this within the next two years if not sooner. We're easy targets folks, not well represented, represent a mere 1 percent of the population, and they don't like the way we tend to vote anyway
    I guess this is what we get for entrusting our futures to our nation and the promises of it's people. I know I'd never, ever even consider doing it again.

    • Thank you for your comments. you spoke very well. You seem like a smart person. Your comments, make sense, you don’t say a lot about nothing. You are right!!!. We are easy targets, partly because we don’t stick together.
      They are coming after us. I look for them to reduce people who are already retired I would say,
      15% of their retired pay. Tri-Care is going up I would say by 20%, and as long as we sit with thumbs up are a–, I see this happening like you do in a couple of years.
      It seems there is a war going on in this country against working people in general. It seem that if you are a good person trying to provide for your family, trying to do what is right, paying your bills, not doing drugs, committing no crimes, well it seems there is a war going on against the good people of this country. A war where no bombs are being dropped on us, a war where they aren’t rolling tanks into the streets of America, no this is a different kinda war. This is a ECONOMIC war against Americans and it is being waged by fellow Americans.

  63. Why are we not hearing anything about the benefits and pensions of elected officials? Look at the retirement they get…I never did vote for any pensions for any elected officials.

    First, they need to STOP all Pensions for elected and appointed officials…NOW!

    The government health insurance they do not think anyone should have, (but they have theirs, at taxpayers expense) ..STOP all health care and benefits..

    They should only get social security, period.

    Reasons, we have all this problems are…most of these so call elected officials are for this country (or more for their parties and heck with the country) never did feel obligated to wear the uniform for any military service.

    So, they are so disconnected from what this country has gone thru and is going thru, they only listen to their parties and lobbyists input.

    We need a 3rd party in this country, badly. The Middle Class is being destroyed by the Party for the Rich and the Party for the Left.

    It is time the politicians give up their pensions and benefits, just like they are taking away from govt workers and others.

    Why is it we never hear about a JOB program from the Rich Party.

    Job creators for China and they are not doing anything for America.

    SAD, INDEED.

    • Robb the Citizen. of this country is lazy as hell and is always looking for a handout, If not a rep or senator would not be in office until he dies. they would send him packing after he had served. It would not be a profession, it would be a service. The power struggle would he eliminated.. Afteer they are there for a while, they become all powerful.

    • Rodd, you lost me, I diden't know that people in dc was sent there to create jobs, Their policies are the problem with jobs, No one trust them, so they are holding the line on expanding,As fara class warefare I never bought into it, that is the same tatic that the commies used to divide the people to make them weak, so they can be all powerful. zLook at this POTUS proposing tax increases when no jobs are being created, do you believe that will make someone invest what they have? You would not dive into a pond without water would you

  64. Randy Westveer says:

    Let's face reality folks – the SOB in the WH has absolutely NO interest in the military other than a photo op to boost his sorry ass image…and if he can get the op while still sticking in the military men's and women's asses…he's gonna go for it! Clinton turned the military in "meals on wheels" – btb – I served 2 years 4 USAF/18 Army – and declined my presidential proc signed by Clinton but had the clerk order one for Bush prior to knowing I was going to retire – this bozo will do anything he can to decimate the military so we can become as least as strong a power as any 3rd world piss ant dictator has which is really what the Obamunist wants to be! For anyone that has read the "Left Behind" series, Obama thinks he is Carpathia!

  65. Retired Military, Its all most like a dirty name . We are one of the most underpaid jobs and one of the most dangerous in these United States and
    these people that have some of the most high paying jobs who are never in the line of fire want to cut our our benifits even more. We haven't had a cost of liveing raise in ss or retirement in 2 years. If anyone stays in now to get a retirement, He or She has lost it.

  66. I remember the 70's when Cater was president, we could not train or do to much because we were cut so much, Soldier's were on welfare, could nottake care of their familes, Then Ronald Reagen was elected, Then we seen pay raises etc.. This POTUS is in the same group as Carter, and now I see it all happening again. When will we learn who support a strong defense of the nation?

  67. I see the Support our troops signs , and wonder. In what way do you support us….I pay for injuries that i recieved in Viet Nam, Tri Care don't care how the injury occured, they just want their money.

  68. The irony of this desire to muck with our retirement pay and benefits is that these same politicians are quick to send our military to fight unnecessary wars and conflicts. They don’t want to pay for the consequences that their decisions bring about. We need more former members of the military to run for office. It is those within our ranks than can bring an end to silly season in Washington, DC.

  69. Read every ones comments. My way to solve the financial problem, Open up oil drilling in the ANWR. Use all the profits to pay off the debt, lower local gas prices (stop buying from forgein countries.)

  70. Its simple for me. Anyone not serving in combat shouuld be a civilian not a soldier those clerks and jerks with their I am smarter than you attitude should all be GS3 taking care of our shit. I believe about 1% of the military actually have combat the rest get phony awards and thats what kills the retirement system for those who deserve it. Retire those in real combat after twenty years and get rid of the officers who believe their too smart to risk their life, yeah that leadership has yet to win us a war now since WW2. Having sandbags inside your 5 star hotel is just sickening. Getting combat pay for just sitting around in a place safer than the US and no taxes while u constantly go TDY come on. The system is fxxked up because of all the jerks that abused it. I did serve in combat and I am fed up with all thses SOBs with fake disabilities getting supported and the fXDXkers getting award they did not earn

    • fmattie –
      So you are saying that the 8 years active duty in the Army, and 14 years in the Army Reserves (total 22 years) means nothing because I didn't get the honor to serve in a combat zone, I should get nothing?????? You also say I shouldn't receive VA disability because I was not in a combat zone?????
      Lets keep in mind, up to 10 years ago or so, THERE WAS NO WAR! So those who have spent 98% (or 100%) of their military time during peace time shouldn't get compensated???? I served willingly and was ready to go into combat should I have been sent, but because of 1) THERE WAS NO WAR ; 2) after 2001 FORSCOM wouldn't fund me to be activated and 3) I was told to retire before I could be activated.

      • No I am saying since WW2 we have been in combat but do not win although we have more money more technology etc. We do not win because people are more intersted in selling weapons then soldiers lives and no I did not say those deserving disability do not deserve it I said I am sick of these phonies that fake disability and get it we need to stand up for combat soldiers and if anyone deserves a twenty year retirement it is the guys constantly on the line and I hate to tell you but we have been in combat all the time and if you wanted to volunteer for central america and other places you would have gone

  71. I sent a letter to my elected representatives 2 weeks ago regarding the proposal to change military retirement to a 401(k) type plan. Both of the Senators, Bennett and Udall thanked me for my concern about military Health benefits. Obviously, these were canned responses and the senators never actually read the letter. My representative, Doug Lamborn, thnaked me for my concern and promised to get back to me later (fat chance). My current approach is to send a letter or email every week commenting on the poor representation that is being provided by congress and providing an example firm that weeks news to make the point. I urge everyone who is as outraged as I am in the poor performance of our government to do the same and address as many political figures as you can.

  72. ANNMARIE WAITE says:

    SEEMS TO ME THOSE WHO RECIEVE THE MOST BENEFITS WHICH ARE VIRTUALLY UNTOUCHABLE, ARE THE VERY PEOPLE WANTING TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE MILITARY RETIREES. I SERVED FOR 22 YEARS AND MADE MANY SACRIFICES JUST LIKE MANY OTHER SOLDIERS DID. OUR LIVES WERE ON THE LINE MANY TIMES OVER. AND NOW FOR THE FREEDOMS WE SECURED FOR OUR FELLOW AMERICANS(AND MANY OTHERS) WE ARE NOW BEING THREATENED WITH CUTTING OUR REITREE BENEFITS. TALK ABOUT A KNIFE TO THE BACK!!!

  73. Andrew Heil says:

    I do not feel those of us who have defended this nation without regards to family and friends, should even be brought into the budget cut conversation. I was really upset when I found out that my original retirement was set at 75% was reduced to 50%, still can't find out why. Changed it with out notification. What a deal.

  74. Vicente Castaneda says:

    if everything is on the table for cut,I did not hear or read anything on cut for the benefit to congress or the people in office to represent us the people how put them there. Get the military off the table. if I see cuts deep cut for benefits for the ,senate then we can talk about the military.

  75. ANDRES ALCARAZ says:

    IS CONGRESS PAY GOING TO BE CUT ALSO OR ARE THEY GOING TO GIVE THEM SELF AN OTHER PAY RAISE FROM OUR CUT BACKS WHY
    SHOULD ANYONE BE PAIS FOR NOT WORKING ONE TURM AND THEY GET PAID FOR LIFE THATS BULL. NO ,NO,NO VOTE THAM OUT AND ANY
    ONE NOT DOING THERE JOB OR NOT WORKING TO HELP VET'S

  76. Alvin J. Brotski says:

    I personally believe that the time has come for a National Lottery! As an
    example, if we had a National Lottery with tickets selling for $2.00 each,
    $1 would go directly to the U.S. Treasury to reduce the National Debt, and
    the other $1 would go to cover administrative costs and prizes! The best
    part of this would be the second $1.00! Once administrative costs are
    covered, prizes would be taylored to increase employment by the method
    of paying the winners! For example, a first prize of $50,000 would go to
    the winner if he or she purchased an American made vehicle! If that
    winner did not want an American car, he or she would receive a check for
    $25,000! Both top prizes would be tax free! The same method for second
    prizes of $25,000! Buy an American auto or receive $15,000 cash! The
    idea would be to sell more American cars which would increase
    employment, and at the same time, put millions of dollars in the
    U.S. Treasury! Perhaps, ideas like this would help avoid attempts to
    change the Military Retirement System! The goal, as I see it, is to
    increase employment, and put money in the Treasury! This certainly
    would be one big step in accomplishing this!

  77. I spent 20 1/2 years in the military and retied in 1988. I was in Vietnam and flew combat. I think that it is time to get rid of all of the current elected in congress and the president and elect a new batch. They could not do any worse that the current elected officals.

  78. Wayne Morgan says:

    If they really want to save money, they can save about 50 billion a year from the prison system which taxpayers pay for each year. They don't deserve Cable TV, books to become lawyers, weights to work out. If they need these things there family members should be liable for it not taxpayers. Why is it taxpayers responsibility to ensure they have free medical from the state or federal govt. These prisoners live better than some of our active duty deployed defending us. Funny how no politician ever brings this money saving factor up.

  79. Jim Anderson says:

    An MSNBC.com article states: "Using a “top-down” calculation based on U.S. budget appropriations, the group estimates the total money spent or allocated comes to about $255 million per day, or a little less than $1.8 billion a week. That figure includes both military and non-military spending on things like reconstruction."

    We need to get out of other countries' war!

  80. Its time that these United States Senators and Congessman start to lose some of their pay also. These senators and those in congress can serve only six yrs and two yrs and then recieve their full pay for the rest of their lives with full bennifts. While the Military service man after twenty years only gets half his pay when he retires and has to pay now for Tricare when it was promised that they would get free health care for the rest of their lives. I think it is time that we pull the plug on all the senators and congress folks who have left office and those who will leave office and stop payment on thier retirement money. Fair is fair.

    • Please read other posts on Congressional retirement – they are under FERS, same as our Civil Service Law Enforcement Brethren (i.e. same as our Civil Service brethren, but with a slightly higher yearly multiplier).

  81. Why don't they look into the 20% of the Georgia crooks(excuse me) politicians that are late pay on taxes!!!!!!!!!! Sorry to say I live in GA.

  82. I enlisted in 1978 with the full intention of a 20 yr. career. Retired in 98 with 4 kids that hardly knew me and a pension for my trouble. Now the government wants to cut those benefits, by increasing our Tricare costs, and telling us that that there has been no inflation. You elected officials really need to go all back full and regroup. You cut the benefits for retirees now and it wont be long before you run out of volunteers. Next thing that happens is involuntary service via the selective service program, or reopening the draft. This will result in the dregs of society serving in our military due to the fact that the highly educated people who now serve (read that…college kids) can't be drafted). Now what do we do? Conscript our military forces i.e. communist style? Oh my. Get off of your collective asses and clean up your own house before you start with mine. I guess by cutting the military budget you can afford to give yourselves another little raise. How nice.

  83. Andrew Heil says:

    I had the opportunity last week to speak to a Doctor at one of the V A Hospitals. What I heard I damn near fell off my seat. Apparently the Doctors sister is a Congresswoman who makes $200,00o a year. During our conversation, it was revealed that the congresswoman was complaining that she was living paycheck to paycheck. Something wrong with this picture. These are the people who are in charge of this nations budget. How can you not live comfortably, save, invest etc.. Here is a good example of how the Congress looks out for their own welfare. They make their own pay raises, I would really like to know what their justifications are!

  84. justoneguuy62 says:

    I really don't make much from my national guard retirement after 26 years. To suggest that our retirement go to a 401k type is ridiculus. If the market goes up, we make money, and if the market tanks out, there goes everybody's 401k. Not exactly the best idea ever. I say, leave it be. Don't touch it, and for heaven's sake, don't raid it. Congress has already raided Social Security, and now they even lowered the amount to pay into it; supposedly to get consumers to buy more for their hard earned buck. I hope military.com reads these comments and take heart what they are playing with. I have already contacted my representative and senator, and I hope everybody in here does the same.

  85. If you are going to take a stab at Congress and other politicians don't stop there.PLEASE for the love of god take a look at the NON-MILITARY Government officials they make bank off of the backs of tax-payers. I'm talking not only cash but retirement system that includes BOTH a pension AND 401k… did I mention matching 4-5%, plus 13 PAID sick days, plus up to 8 hr per pay period for LEAVE, plus comp time in lieu of pay… Yeah folks up to 51 DAYS OFF PAID PER YEAR. And a fat ass retirement to boot. talk about WOW!

  86. The service is already planning to initiate the retirmenet system. I truly believe they are preparing for it now. I recently talked to a recruit and there was a paper he had to sign discussing his retirement and having a 401K type plan. He said he had to sign it when in boot camp. Does anyone klnow anything about this?

    • It's called Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and has been available to the Military since the mid-90's. It's NOT what is proposed here, but is the same as our Civil Service brethren have (minus the match they get from Uncle Sam). It's actually recognized as one of the better 401(k)'s out there, with among the lowest costs and a good selection of index funds to choose from.

  87. I really don’t think the general public or most of Congress really understand the nature of what we as military men and women really are faced with on a daily basis. I’m not just talking about going to war and getting killed. Rather, the day to day functions. I retired from the Navy after 20+ years. A typical day out to sea:

    6-11 a.m. Standing watch on the bridge, not being able to sit for 5 hours. Standing on steal. Constant pain in my back and knees.

    11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Going down to my office to do my work. You see, I’m the division officer of the ship’s ADP division.

    4 – 9 p.m. Back on the bridge to stand another watch. It’s time for a mountain dew and a snack since I didn’t get to eat thus far.

    9 p.m. – 12 a.m. Back to my office to complete the day’s work, write evaluations, check standard operating procedures. Grab a bit to eat, off to take a shower, and get to bed.

    2 a.m. – 7 a.m. Back on the bridge to stand yet, another watch. 5 and Dime is a monster!!

    And the cycle continues for months!!! I don’t complain because I know that there is a retirement waiting for me. There are days when I cherish that 1 hour of sleep, because some days, I don’t get that!!

  88. I think Congress should pass a law on the military. If you served, no benefits can ever, will not ever be taken away. If abled men and women don't volunteer to serve, each year they pay a tax like mentioned in an earlier response. Families who have lost a loved one who served, be given same priviledges as if the deceased is still alive. College grants are only given if abled bodies served in the military. Foreign students on aide, pay a tax each semester for military service members or serve in community services to help support the city or government on manual labor jobs.
    We give too much, then Congress gives away even more and then wants us to pay for their mistakes or misguided grants to help poor ILLEGALS and give them Food Stamps, Social Security, State Disability, Unemployment benefits etc.
    Second of all; get rid of the Prisons. Make desert Camps and stick them out there. Let them build their own Tent City. We waste too much money on Prisons. Prisoners live better than many American Citizens. They get Degree's for killing people and we don't qualify for didly.
    Just a few idea's.

  89. Shawn McFadden says:

    Question: Doesn't Congress have anything better to suggest??? All I've herd from them is cuts here, cuts there. I tell you what, If they cut this system, at the same time, they better propose cuts into their pay/retirement system.

  90. Joseph Burrow sr says:

    i am a army, ational Guad retired.I took a break in 1991. Got out, I couldn't figure out why Icouldn't gain any weight, remember things like I should. So I started to go to VA. The person that signed in to tghe va. She aske me, why are your hands so red. I responded, I don't know. The doctors, thier had stated. That the Gulf war veterains, there isn't anything wrong with them.So I finaly got 10 percent for my skin. And thats all I could get. But I still have rashes come up on my body. VA told me that the rashes didn;t come from the Gulf war. I told them that they were lieing to me. Now I have gotten worse. I can't remember from day to dayWhen I was in Arizona. I had a doctor to run a test on my memory. They showed me the results. The doctor stayed. That my memory wasn't good. So they gave me some medicine for that. Well it don't help. I ask you why couldn't VA thell me that. And now I think that I might have agent oranege. I have researched it. And agent orange, showed me the same symtoms.

  91. Recruiters beware!!! Your offices could become increasingly EMPTY. Woe to the U.S. if we can't maintain a strong military because of a lack of VOLUNTARY participation due to not having anything sound and fair to look forward to upon retirement!!!!! Allegiances will go anywhere except the military!!!!! Who will protect our country then?? CONGRESS??

  92. I am now fully retired and watch CSPAN. Its amazing how little our elected officials know about the military life style. Ask them to serve on aircraft carriers for months on end, live on Guam, Iceland or in my day, Midway Island and Wake Island. Its the elected officials fault that we are in the position we are. Spend, spend and spend is all they know. Both parties share in this blame. Lets clean house this next election and keep doing that until we get people in their who are elected to do what is best for the country is are legal citizens.

  93. We are going to have 12 do the job, fire the other 523 plus the PRESIDENT

  94. Mike USN RET. says:

    Those who served and sacrificed for 20 plus years, who have successfully fulfilled each and every mission they were sent to do, who have performed their duties to the fullest with distinction and dedication for the people of this nation should not have to pay for the failures of our politicians that brought this country to its knees in far less years than we dedicated our lives to. We should not have to pay for their blunders and incompetence to perform their responsibilities in office that they were elected for to do. DERELICTION OF DUTY!!! Thats the charge Mr. Congressman, Senator, House of Representatives, etc. The vote of the people to put you out of office will be your judgement… It is time America to place men and women in office who are as dedicated to duty and the mission as those of us who fulfilled their obligations during time of service and those who still serve today. Lets bring back the USA we once knew and the American dream that so many died for, so that others may live it!!!

  95. A plan for cuts I thought would be good is for the congress to never be allowed more than 15% higher than national net average income. Now their tax requests effect them as well and they have some sort of vestment in their bills. No more pass the bill to find out what’s in it crap. Then we the military the protectors of this country no longer need to worry about what we earned and was promised to have it taken from us.

  96. I wonder how the housing market would fare should they screw with military retirement? I know I depend on my retirement check every month to make my mortgage payment.

  97. Again has many of you who served and gave up some or much of there youth in service of this country we are kicked in the ass again . In many statements made by our government the budget must be balanced and at the expense of our Military Personnel, Retiree's, or even many of our Senior Citizens. This is all great, but none of us has heard a single word from Congress or other higher -ups that there budgets or salaries are going to be touched. I feel that it is high time that each and everyone of them be given a pink slip and that there benefits not be extended to them or if they should, iot be based on time served.

  98. There is tea party for ya!!! now this guy shows up and says that Boehner is a socialist!!! people come on , don't you get it? the right wing of the republican party want s to dismantle government and society in general an live in their little caves again. Why are they opposed to tax a billionaire to what i am taxed or the same percent huh? Is it because their kickbacks comes from the same place? But instead we tell these people that sacrificed everything in their lives to serve this nation to give it up!!!!

  99. One thing that you all are missing that you need to understand. We do not have the same Government we had years ago. This is just the begining of the NEW type of government that can tell you what you will do and when you will do it and can take anything away from you. LOOK around you see what you see cameras all over the place everywhere. One day soon in the Great USA you will look up in the sky and see alot of the unman drons flying in the sky with the cammera looking right at you. They are not just making unman drons for the War. Just look at what is going on with the U.S.P.S. and your heath care and the military and tricare.The Congress is for Congress they do not live were we live or do what the hard working Americans do Day after Day. Better yet they don"t go to War to fight and die for there freedom We the American Soldiers do.

  100. I am an old sailor that served my country 23 years, with 17 of those years spent on arduous sea duty. i never refused or tried to get out of a set of orders so I moved up and down the Atlantic coast from Newport to Key West and most ports in between. My family had to move at least 25 times to be with me and waiting for Navy housing to become available. The Navy that I served in was not like any civilian job that I had since retiring. As an Engineman, I worked many hours in hot enginerooms with no union to protect us or protest our working conditions and we didn't get overtime pay. I loved the Navy and would have stayed for thirty but it was becoming hard on my family to move around so much. I am one of the lucky ones, I suppose because I have been retired for thirty seven years and most of my friends that I knew in service have long gone to meet their maker. I would like to see the services go back to the days that had more active duty people instead of depending so much on reserve forces. Our young people need to do a term in one of our Armed Services, which for some would help straighten their lives out. It did me, and I went from SR to MCPO and was recommended for LDO.

  101. Mamas: Don't let let your kids grow-up and join the military– not now and not forever more….

  102. Some of you may have gotten caught up in the previous attempt to change the military retirement system. What year was it? 1986? The military decided they would only offer 40% retirement benefits at 20 years instead of the 50%. Recruitment and retention got so bad they had to change it back about 4 years later. Those IDIOTS in Washington are at it again. Way to go DUMMIES!!!!

  103. Our military retirees deserve at least the same benefits as received by the police departments of our major cities. Congress can vote for their own benefits, we military retirees can't.. Reducing our benefits at this time is unthinkable.. What's fair is fair. The CPI is at least 3.4%. We'd better see a COLA next year.

  104. Sigh- welcome to the new "bonus army" – once WW1 was over the $$ promised didn't appear
    The Great Depression (another mess created by irresponsible financial policies and unsustainable consolidation of wealth) was in full swing and the politicians couldn't say no to the demands of the Robber Barons that caused it.
    – the desperate vets built a shanty town in DC. McArthur and Eisenhower among others were ordered to run off the vets and destroy the town- and did..
    Long after congress did ante up but for many it was too late -that's maybe where this is going.
    This country's budget is about to be balanced on the backs of the vets, disabled, elderly, poor children and most vulnerable.
    That is the coward's way out for the irresponsible ransacking of our nation's assets by a very small group that play chess with millions of people as pawns.
    – Obviously, the only way that will change is if some unfortunate events occur and apparently the growing number of natural disasters isn't enough yet or they grow a conscience and do the right thing. (not likely)

  105. Who's going to serve, let alone 20+ years, when they put this 401K plan into place? Every young, unadapted to the real world, kid is going to come in and say hell with this. Why deploy for months, go to the field for weeks, go to schools away from home for weeks, when they can work a normal job that provides a 401K (nearly everyone nowadays). Additionally, who is going to come in and stay around when the economy picks up? Also, is it just me, or is it not an alarmingly plain stupid idea to demoralize and dismantle the military during ongoing conflicts all across the world? We need real, no b.s., leaders who know what is important for the well being of the nation. Keeping the military in a high state of moral just might be a good idea – constant news about totally removing the pension does not accomlish this. We don't need leaders who pump money into frivolous programs, which do absolutely nothing for the country, just to score some poplarity points. Yes, we need to cut spending. EVERYBODY does. But, is the debt problem a permanent problem? If not, then why are we making permanent change? Seems very drastic. This is ridiculous.

  106. I retired from the Navy reserve and have to wait till I'm 60 to get my high yr 3 retirement of a E-5 .On top of that I'm 100% V.A. disabled and can't work the goverment sent me to the sand box and I got PTSD . Now they want me to give up some of my retirement money I say BULL SHIT take away all of there perks but leave our retirement alone !

  107. BILL (see this?) says:

    I've got an answer for the great country of America, outlaw all veterans and just hunt us down like one would foxes raiding the chicken coop. Or wait, simply tell us how long we should live, and should we refuse to die, then turn our worthless uncouth lives over to the VA so they can bury us alive and forget where they buried us [their accounting is so very good and accurate, isn't it, Thank God they (VA) are not managing cemeteries]. Still no body says anything about pensions for those that serve a term or two in office, and not twenty plus years of ones life in service, and in harms way! And please never speak of how many holidays one serves without a family [or a personal life what-so-ever] all over the world, or even the physical hazards in just preparing to stand forth for our Nation and Constitutation.

  108. What is sad is that boths sides of the isle has spent too much over the years. Now, because of that, we all have to get hit in the side of the head. We need to get all congressmen and women who is incumbent out, no matter what party they are. I am an independent and part of the pee party! We need to punish the congressmen and women and get them out of office. Neither side expresses any discomfort over what they have done in the past. They all act like our deficit crisis is something new that just happened, but the truth is they got us into this mess. They are the ones who should take a pay cut! Remember years back they voted on their 100 percent pay raise.

  109. The present outlook in Washington is contaigus. Look what we have for a president! He is crazy and acts much like an illegial alien; he is pulling very strange things into law. The elected monsters in Washing are just as crooked and are doing these crazy things because as the president gets by with just about as he wants, why not all of the mobsters pull crappy kinds of things, they know no one tells them what to do. AND we the people keep electing these kind of monsters, we let them do this to the majority of we people. Lets vote all of them out as soon as we can.

  110. azvetretired says:

    Ok so not being that savy with the computer and all. Where does a person find out how a politician votes on a specific issue, such as our pay.Then we can post their record and maybe when election time rolls around we would have a a lot of us voting as to weather or not they stay in office.

  111. sally seals says:

    I think we need to DEMAND that everyone in congress who has not served this country in uniform do so. Send them all to afganistan for a year, bet they would all have a new opinion than.

  112. wbheath@hotmail.com says:

    Once again! We need to let them know we will do all we can to see they don't get elected to so much as dog catcher an they lose their benefits. What would they do if no one were to join or make the military a career.

    A Pissed off retired U.S.A.F. TSgt

  113. Cliffhanger says:

    Why oh Why-hasn't anyone but me figured out it would be quite simple to stop all this useless fighting and stupid wars. If two countries don't get along and want to fight simply take the two leaders and the two countries governments into an arena with clubs and the last one alive "WINS". I'll guarantee there will be no more wars!

  114. Carlton Campbell says:

    I no longer have any trust in "goverment". I like many others fought in their cold war and many other rat races and blunders. I did my time under ever changing contracts and still ya can't trust the a**holes on capital on an oval office. They don't care. They have the golden parachutes and the expensive accounts and free medical care. Welcome to a modern corrupt Rome/USA. You can't trust self interest,greed,corruption and big business.

  115. I've already written both my senators and my representative. The reply I received from Senator Warner (D-VA) is NOT encouraging.

  116. They keep messing with the military and there will be no one to fight in the "conflict" (war). Maybe those that are deciding what we should have/not have can go fight the war or send their kids/grandkids. You know their going to downsize after the current war(s), but they'll decide to send the military somewhere else to fight the battles they are chickens to do themselves. They keep messing with us and there won't be anyone to send. How they going to play Mister Big Shot then?

  117. Barry Obama pay your Fair Share: Ruck-Up and stand guard duty. As a leader you really stink!

    • This Barry (Mr. President) is probably on your side much more than the righties who like to make these types of proposals. Unfortunately we no longer have a tax base in this Nation that can fund a military of the size needed for our defense. Over the last sixty to seventy years the wealthiest have seen a decrease from ninety + per cent to a low of twenty eight percent of payroll taxes while you and me have seen our tax rates jump up from five or eight percent into the twenty to thirty per cent area. Guess what, at ninety + percent, they still had much, much, much more by factors of ten than our entire income after we paid our paltry eight percent tax.

      • If the wealth among us were taxed at that earlier rate, then maybe they would not be so quick in having those in congress put us in harms. They make huge profits by generating bogus conflicts. It is our sweat and blood and I for one wish that we only fought the meaningful ones…. WWII, curtailing the Communist Expansion, and 9/11 (Iraq II was not one of these nor was it a joint Humanitarian like Iraq I or Bosnia and Herzegovina)

      • MANY SAY THAT THE WEALTH DO NOT EVEN PAY AT THESE RATES BUT AVERAGE ABOUT FIFTEEN PER CENT WITH MANY PAYING DOWN CLOSE TO ZERO. WOULD SURE BE NICE IF I COULD GET INTO THAT TAX RATE AND STILL BE COLLECTING MY PRESENT INCOME, BUT UNFORTUNATELY I HAVE HAD TO WORK QUITE HARD TO PROVIDE THIS INCOME SO I GUESS I DO NOT QUALIFY FOR A LOWER TAX RATE, AND BESIDES, SOMEONE NEEDS TO BE PAYING TAXES TO KEEP THIS GREAT COUNTRY AFLOAT AND MAKE SURE THAT OUR WOUNDED WARRIORS ARE AT LEAST TAKEN CARE OF.

  118. They want us to "Serve and Protect" and we did it in harms way in the heat! Now it's their turn to "Save our Benefit"!

  119. I am really fed up with all of this, As a retired military I feel we all sacrifice and did our duty to protect this country. We all deserved all the benefit that we are receiving, if you really think about it, is not really much and this is why most of us stayed in for more than 20 years. We served and did our duty to protect this country, I think our politician should really stop and think about our retired military veterans and do the right thing.

  120. Thomas D.Ritchie says:

    I retired in 71 after 21years & 6 mo.I could mot live on that small amount each month I had to go get another job.Now after all these years thet must think that bI make too much money so they took 47$ & 79 cents from my check every month.None of those SOBs flew in Vietnam for 3 years I did.Now they are asking me to donate again .it will never happen Msgt Retired USAF Thomas D Ritchie

  121. I served 20 years, two months and 11 days in the USAF. Most of my career was served overseas. I spent Dec 1991 in the "beautiful garden spot" called Saudi Arabia and I could not celebrate Christmas. During that deployment, we were exposed to the oil fires burning in Kuwait. I was in Dhahran and did not get it as bad as my poor sisters and brothers in the Army and Marines. Many of us will and/or do have medical problems from the oil exposure and God knows what else. How can Congress even think about cutting our retirement and that of future retirees? What in the world is going on with our country? We are being treated like we are deposable. We have given the best years of our lives to the country we love. We should not have to sacrifice anymore. I'm very upset with the insanity of it all.

  122. I read a book called, "Term Limits" by Vince Flynn which essentially addresses pork barrel politics. And while I do not advocate the extreme methods that were used in the story line, I do feel that some type of payback is due those 535 professional conmen politicians who enrich themselves and remain in government positions because they can not give up that feeling of power. Look around folks and all you hear and read is about the logjams that are caused by them in trying to pass budgets and appropriations, trying to find more ways to screw the public, and our expense of course.
    "These men and women sit in their little ivory towners adn play their petty games of partisan politics while parents, sons and daughters are getting killed to ensure that they continue to play that role." While our so-called leaders are spending billions of dollars on wapons syutems that the military doesn't even want, they throw billions of dollars into the Dep. of Education that doesn't educate a single child, while they waste their time debating whether or not we should have prayer in school, people are dying literally.

  123. We, the active and retired military community did not watch our fellow soldiers die and are still dying so that idiots like these could send our country in the tank. WE NEED TO STOP THAT AND NOT ALLOW IT TO CONTINUE ANY FURTHER!!!!! I ask you all my fellow military retirees, set aside your partisan differences and start voting for someone who will represent us retirees, and the country as well. Someone who will literally lead the fight to get back our country, our prestige and our pride. How long will we allow our jobs to be shipped elsewhere and then they have put us in 11% nationwide unemployment. I BEG OF YOU, LETS VOTE AS A UNIFIED BLOCK AND STOP RE-ELECTING THOSE SENATORS/CONGRESSMEN WHO HAVE DONE THIS TO US. It is time for new blood.. elections are coming soon, Let stand united and protect what little we have left from the entire menu that we were promised for putting our souls and lives on the line for our country.

  124. Charlie RetAF says:

    I feel that all Government Employees should be under the same retirement system as the Military!!! Bet we get a raise then!

    • Wow, you want to increase their Retirement, to include Congress? Or do you want us to lose our benefits to go under their system?

      Please ask your Civil Service brethren about FERS – here's a clue: it's not as generous as Military Retirement. They pay into it, pay SS, pay for their health care, and don't collect retirement until 62.

  125. I haven't had a sick feeling like I have now since 9/11. Just like then…the writings on the wall. These changes will effect out readiness and change the world as we know it. EVERY NCO I know is either retiring, getting out, or going to college with a sense of urgency. We serve quietly, professionally, ready to protect our country…trusting in our government and believing in a special set of ideals…it's a sad, sad day when that trust is breached. My heart is heavy, but I will die defending our great country. I will die knowing that I did my part to serve. All of us would do the same…its shameful what our policy makers are doing, and a punch in the gut that they think we are too uneducated or stupid to predict the outcome their decisions will have on our country.

  126. ABNER W. GRREN says:

    I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY WOULD ATTEMPT TO PROPOSE A ROGUE PLAN AS THIS. WHERE IS THE INTEGRETIY AND TRUST THAT I DEPENDED ON WHEN I SACRIFICED MY FAMILY FOR 17 YEARS OF MY LIFE. IPANNED MY LIFE AROUND THE 20 YEAR RETIREMENT PLAN, AND THIS IS WHAT I GET. THIS IS ILLEGAL AND WRONG. FOR THE SAKE OF PRESERVING AMERICA WAY OF LIFE AND FREEDOM. HOW CAN THEY THINK ABOUT SUCH A SELFISH AND THOUGHTLESS PLAN.

  127. George W. McCormic says:

    There is a lot of talk about the Reps and Senators taking a pay cut, but that is like asking the starving people not to kill the sacred cow. It will never happen and they will continue to do what they damn well please. I say we need to get rid of them all and start fresh. It is a joke every time they come up with some scheme, yes scheme. None on the hill give a tinkers damn about the average citizen let alone active or retired military. As long as they have their power. Now they are a waste of taxpayers money.

  128. Retired COL says:

    A shame Mr. Howell didn't read the article more closely or at least not take those terms completely out of context…. While he suggests "the other side" of the argument was given time too, I found the entire NYT article to be in support of the military and their retirement.
    What I don't understand is how we expect the people we elected to office to represent us when they are signing pledges to Grover Norquest to NEVER raise taxes on the ultra-rich and then in the same breath wonder why they would come after our retirement and health care benefits!?!?!?
    You pledged to support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foriegn and domestic! You did that for the greatest portion of your "earning life" and did it (for the most part) without complaint. Now your political representative is signing pledges that will undermine their part of the deal by eliminating funding for the military.
    I wish them luck finding people to fight their next war for them after the renege on their promise to us….

    • Your point is well made. I took the time to re-read the article and adjusted my commentary accordingly. Thank you for calling me on that.

    • Agreed. How can they pledge to Grover Norquist (an unelected individual) and allow that pledge to override their pledge to the Constitution.

      Any Congressman or Senator I vote for should have made one pledge – the one at the beginning of the term to support and defend the Constitution. Those who pledge allegiance to anyone else should not be elected.

  129. If the current government would be willing to give me back pay for all the “overtime” I put in during my twenty years on active duty, then they could keep my pension. That back pay would be about twice as much as the total on the pension they will be paying me for the rest of my life.

  130. franklin brown says:

    Stop messing with the retired military. We worked for every thing we have.

  131. MSG, USA, Ret. says:

    It's all whining to the choir here…I would suggest that a smart guy among you out there (I'm just a ret. Army MSG who's now teaching college Art classes to supp the DoD check) organize a veteran-based political party, with NO ties to the current three, whose point would be to bring justice to those of us who have served a career and are serving presently. None of the activity of such a party need be on-duty or on-post…we all have the right as citizens first to be politically active—just, not in uniform. But to belong (as I NEVER have) to one of the current jerk-off parties defeats us all. I voted for McCain, but I support Obama…that's because I am an American who voted Kennedy and gave my allegiance to Reagan. If there had been a good "other" I would have sided with him…or her. All this blogging is keeping us pissed off and marching in place…emotion is fine for football games, but clear-headed logic is what wins those things that count…

  132. Lets dig into congress pockets that are not doing their job that we have elected them to do not the military that is doing the job that they have been doing to protect our freedom.

  133. I am retired and my retirement pay do not come close to covering my day to day expense. I do not understand why people think the military get so much money. How can anyone speak about cutting, are taking away any pay from people who have served and is still serving this country with their life and given their life to keep this country free. If you were never in the military you would not understand the sacrifice military men and women give up. There are other cuts that can be made, other than taking away from the military and military retiree's. The President is only one man; decisions are not just made by him alone.

  134. JAMES R CONYERS says:

    Several thought
    We need to realistically deal with our budget and a deal is a deal.
    Those who served or have served a decent number of years should receive the retirement deal in effect when they joined. Those not heavily invested, year-wise, in the system could be subject to a new deal. This will go over like a lead balloon and I would hate to be a recruiter if it comes down. Basically you would have to lie if you say the government will take care of you if you serve honorably. The 401 (k) style retirement is the way to go, however.

  135. sfc retired says:

    wars need to be fought why not bring back the draft use only these people train them send them to the war zone pay them while serve when the war is over send them home no problem no more pay

  136. compare the military with civilian hours othe job, miltary 24hrs a day 365days ayear with civiles 8hrs ady

  137. It is interesting to me that these boogers that we "elected" (but….did we really?) who are supposed to be the leaders of this country, are so remote from the common people. Clearly, it isn't possible for them to understand that when the American people are brought down to the poverty level of third world countries, that we cannot pay taxes, nor can we start businesses to hire others who need jobs…or even keep simple daily businesses such as the local grocery store, in business. Our infrastructure is falling apart…our very way of life is shattering before our eyes. Today, few have money in this country. Those that have a few coins in their pockets aren't going to give them up because they may need them for their own survival downstream. The disconnect between the people and the government is a disgrace. It is too bad that when Akmadinajad (sp?) said that North America is not immune to uprisings like those middle eastern countries have been experiencing, he may have not have been far off the mark. I worry. I see a bad future for this country. This is the United States of America. We cut our teeth on having great pride in our country and these are not just words. We have always believed we are a part of the greatest country that ever existed in this world….yet….something has gone wrong. When a country steals from its old soldiers and its elderly…what have WE become? The jews trusted that they would be taken to work camps…still some pride in their country….and look what happened to them. Is that what old soldiers and old citizens have to look forward to? I worry about all of us. We are all at a breaking point financially. What the hell happened to this country? How did our politicians take over this country and mess it up so badly…and, come back only to take the last few crumbs we have? The elderly and our soldiers have given years and lives for this country. Collectively our government officials cannot be so stupid that they "know not what they do" to us all. I cannot fathom them getting away with their stealing all that we have without any fear of the citizens of this country. What is wrong with them? You know, with the worst of leadership (and, I am a Democrat) this country has ever known…and recognizing that it does not matter which party is in office in reality….they are all alike. There is a "plan" that would have us accept even the devil himself if he promised to help the American people's plight by fixing this mess. Like the German people….a Hitler may be in our future….all he has to do is offer us a "democracy" and a fix on this mess. The jews won't be the sole next victim…. old soldiers, older Americans, the handicapped, hispanics, african-americans, the under-educated…all will exist at the whim of the rich and powerful. We, like the jews, await our fate at the polls….or do we?

  138. Sure, let's pay military like civilians, let's start with paying my husband all of the overtime he is owed. Working12-13 hours a day, is ridiculous, these soldiers are overworked and underpaid. I can't believe they want to take more away from soldiers who have risked their lives, missed births and holidays, were/are forced to move every 3 to 4 years, and the ones that now have to live with disabilities. Yeah, great idea Congress, I am livid that this is even becoming an option. I'll tell you where the money drainer is, Welfare, Medicaid, and Unemployement Checks, fix that first Congress! Sheesh…God Bless Our Troops!

  139. I couldn’t have said it better “Instead of delv­ing into a mil­i­tary retiree’s hard earned and much deserved retire­ment., let’s dig into the retire­ment quirks of these over­paid, and for the most part, WORTHLESS politi­cians who bleed our sys­tem dras­ti­cally.”

    The last time the vet’s and retiree’s marched on Washington. Gen. McArthur lead his forces against them. Since he’s dead and buried, lets try it again!!!!

  140. I agree with JimmySan. One of our biggest problems is the American voter. They believe everything they are told by those wanting to get into office and feed at the trough with the rest of the pigs. Those who are in office are reelected by their name being seen on the previous ballot.

  141. I don’t favor the proposal that non-serving citizens pay a tax for not serving. I also don’t decry that everyone doesn’t desire to serve in the military. I find both these principles absurd.
    None of that fixes the problems at hand. The thing that needs fixing is the mindset of many of those in leadership of both the military and government.
    50-75% of someone’s salary at the end of 20 plus years of service is a small penance. That is not based on a 9 to 5 Monday til Friday,guarenteed vacation per year.How many years have we all had to lose the leave time? We have mostly all completed a whole days work by the time many people get up in the morning. And been subjected to a lifetime of stress and other mind and body punishing situations during that same part of day.

  142. 21 yrs of active and reserve. USMC and NAVY. I had broken service. After Nam and 10 yrs I rejoined the military via the Navy. I retired a Chief P.O. When the retirement and medical goes, so goes our Armed Forces. Tom Coburn an Okla Senator is not military friendly at all. If the millitary decides there are no 8 hr days, no weekends off, and definitely no overtime. And when WE go on vacation we pay our own way. We dont take two big airplanes and hundreds of cooks, body guards, etc. with us. The govt got us in this mess and should be the ones to sacrifice to get us out. Another thing lets stop all the foreing aid to different countries that are and used to be our enemies. The govt is treating the USA people like the enemy. Come on Boehner lets get back to pre Bush taxes.

  143. William Rodis says:

    How about going after Congressional retirement? And while you're at it, why not target their health care too? Republicans are so against government health care, calling it socialistic, but they have government health care for themselves and their families, a lifetime of it as they engorge themselves at the public trough. Everyone is so upset about proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But as for the miitary veteran/retiree, it doesn't appear that anybody gives a damn. You can't promise benefIts to our soldiers, have them serve for 20 years, and then take those benefits away and say you're sorry. That is just plain wrong, and it shows that America doesn't actually support its troops, not really. .

  144. Thresher146 says:

    After reading everyone's blogs, the situation reminds me of the times just prior to the fall of the Roman Empire. Quite a few Roman soldiers deserted due to lack of pay or no pay at all. I see this happening now. Our benefits count as a portion of our pay. So… what does this mean? Will history repeat itself? To continue on, the Roman Empire later hired mercenaries to do the soldiering. The mercenaries really didn't hold much of an allegiance to the empire, and as a result…corruption in the ranks. In the end, the empire collapsed on itself, as we all know. I'm not sure if the military created the collapse, but I'm sure that it had a large hand in it. Does anyone see that happening to the U.S.? Too much corruption and too much greed is killing this great country. As active military and vets, we have the knowledge, power and fortitude to run these corrupt politicians out of office for good. I suggest we join up with VFW, AL or any like organization…organize ourselves and get our country back.

  145. I had another thought after posting the above lengthy comment. You know….I wonder if Louie and Marie Antoinette realized that the French People had had enough of their BS prior to the French Revolution? Offhand, I'd bet they were just like our politicians….sitting on their laurels thinking that the people would endure anything and do nothing about it. This world is a scary place right now. I saw a little girl slip a can of milk into her mother's purse two days ago. I don't know if the mother had taught the little girl to steal or if the little girl simply wanted the can of milk to drink. I do know that I would never report that theft to the store's management in a million years. The family may have been trying to survive. It is a sign of the times that I can watch a theft, even knowing thievery raises my prices, and turn away. Had they been caught I would have paid for the can of milk for the little girl. I am 68 years old and have never actually watched a theft in a store ever before. I left the store with tears in my eyes. Viva the French Revolution. My neighbors and others all around me cannot pay their property taxes this year. These are good men and women who have worked their entire lives for this country. Soon they will lose their homes…and the freaking politicians are planning to steal old soldiers and old citizens last few pennies. With soldiers retirement funds moved into 401Ks, those monies will be beyond their overt responsibility, and as evidenced recently, easier to for their cronies to STEAL. I say, again, Viva le' Revolution.

  146. James J Marcum says:

    One 4 year term and members of the House and Senete and their families receive full retirement and education benifits. Where is the equality in this. It is our politicians who should be cut first. Many of these people have become Multi-Millionares off the back of the people.

  147. Wake up vets…….dump Obama in 2012 and his radical cohorts. Penetta is a left wing hack. As soon a congress and the rest of these blowhards cut their pay, pensions and insane benefits…….then talk about sharing the sacrifice. No more limos, trips, "nancy pelosi" free planes. No more money dumped on the UN, africa, mideast bribes to useless dictators. Get energy independent now…….and end this 10+yr nightmare "police action" in the mideast that is a dead end. Where is the Iraqi Oil?……when does the US get paid back for its massive expense and sacrifice? No more veteran sacrifices, get the illegals out and end this flow of cash to china and the arabs.

  148. Thank you Brian for thinking outside the box… give our children something to plan and do for their country…and maybe they would learn not to be so lazy and selfish… Patriotism is not being taught by families or schools in many places these days….

  149. Leon is part of the Kill the Military Gang! What needs to happen is for the gov to CUT spending in the bloated agencies like the Dept of Ed, EPA, FCC, foodstamps and ebts just to mention a few. Get the people out of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid that are not US citizens, and have never paid into it. Cut the czars out, kill Palestinian aid. Its not hard to see what needs to be done.

  150. Great comments from America's finest! We can be a force to reckon with if we can speak as one, we must unite and really make a "Change". Term limits are a must…..Serving the American people is a privelge/honor….not a caree.r It turns my stomach to here a politician say he/she is running for a sixth term or has been in politics for 20 years. The military has mandatory retirement (MRD) our elected officials should face the same end….My enlistment contract of 1970 was very different when I retired in 2005. They keep taking and still ask us to do more while sending us to places no one else will go to….We need a change…let's get rid of all of them (see how divided I am) callingTHEM who represent us..we are divided…the POTUS has accomplished his mission–divide and conquer…we are on an elavator and going down…..

  151. If there is to be reductions in government pensions/benefits lets start at the top,instead of in the middle, much of the benefits at the top are too budget busting, more so than the benefits we get in the middle, Istarted at $56.00 a month,had to pay for my seabag, and when I retired, my pay was $540.00 as an E7, in 1972,of my 21 years service, 16 & 1/2 was seaduty in Korea/Vietnam, being exosed to asbestos, radiation in the pacific proving test sites, and agent orange during landing of marines in Vietnam. I'mglad to be getting what pension/disability I'm getting, but I will gladly accept a change to help with the USA budget, if you that got us into our budget problems cut your pay, pensions, benefits, whats good fort he goose must alsobe good for the gander…MIKE

  152. Thank you Congress for making Vets have to choose between education and healthcare or paying the mortgage and keeping food on the table for you family

  153. How about stopping all the money going to countries like Cuba, Libya etc. They don't even like us, and we still send money to them?

    How many countries in the UN, that seldom if ever support us when it comes time to vote, are we supporting? What, if anything do we get for our money?
    I say enough is enough.

  154. Furthermore,regardless of our station in life,we all will have to continue to sacrafice in some way to help get this economy out of critical care. Meaning,tax increases,cuts in supplemental services,revamping some programs……….
    My concern is how does this dialog affects troop stability and recruitment?
    Is a 401k or a like plan any more or less efficient than the current retirement plan?
    What is the ratio of soldiers that enlist for the short term as opposed to those of us that stay until retirement?
    When the attrition rate of the vietnam vet was at zero because of retirement and other causes we lost our war experience and suffered greatly. So,if this lends itself to a military of short-termers out of fear of what is perceived of this proposal or of the leadership we may find ourselves in the same predicament with a war crisis on hand. Then what?

  155. We should reduce congress's pay to the of the fighting men and women and see how loud they shout. Then we should call them up at all hours of the day and night to report to duty just so they can feel the pain. Then promise them a retirement the same as the Military. If the only serve one term no retirement. After all what's fair is fair. Leave the Military alone and cut out all the pork barrel junk like studys on wood burnung and bridges to no where.

  156. I always knew that Obama was bad news for the military…after 3 years, well, what do you expect??? More taxes, more class warfare, demeaning of the military, screwing the retirees…etc etc….ra

  157. When I first started out in the Navy I was making 90 bucks a month, 3 meals and a bunk. Tell me that was comparable to civilian pay. When I went into the military, and all of the young men and women who proceeded and followed me,we didn't do it for the money, we did it to defend and protect freedom loving people around the world. Now a bunch of Politicians, starting with Mr. Obama who have never served in the military say "We need to cut the the over 14 trillion dollar budget deficit, lets start with our 1st line of defense the military." There are many other ways to cut the budget, not on the backs or wallets of our dedicated service members!!!

  158. colonelsteve says:

    And you expect what type of "Reform" initiatives from President Obama's appointed few? I will work tirelessly to defeat any Representative or Senator who tries to cut Military "Benefits"…..

  159. H Stanford, CWO, Ret says:

    TFL PREMIUMS AND COPAYS UNDER THE OBAMA PLAN

    Military Retiree PREMIUMS AND COPAYS UNDER THE OBAMA PLAN as per USA TODAY, PAGE 5A, Sept 20, 2011…The Article is titled "Plan would raise Tri-Care for Life Pharmacy co-pays for Military Retirees Plus add an Annual Fee of $200.00 for each Retiree to keep Tri-Care for Life which was given to us for STEALING our Life Time Health Benefits!…currently there are aprox 8 million retirees!

    Please do all that you can to STOP this Absolute Non-sense!

  160. clyde Gambles says:

    The very first thing that the congress need to do is first lead by example and proposed to the American people their true intent of focusing on the debit is by reduce their current salary by 30 percent. This would let the American people know that they are serious about cutting the debit in this country. There are just as many poor Republican as there are Democratic in this nation that would surely approved of this 30 percent salary cut..

  161. Navy 23 years says:

    It is interesting that in a time when so LITTLE constructive worth is being added by our US Congress, we have our military serving on two fronts giving selflessly of their time and their futures. Our Congress is tasked with tough decisions on how to balance the National Budget and ways to cut costs, yet NONE of them put their lives on the line while doing it. One of their solutions to the budget issue is to reduce the retirement benefits of our military while not surprisingly…leaving theirs untouched. Has anyone looked recently at the percentage of Congress that has any military service? That percentage continues to decrease at an alarming rate. Is it any wonder why they think that the military retirement benefits are unfounded……they have no personal understanding as to how those benefits have been earned! But let's not forget, we put them there! If we have issues with what they are doing, or not doing, let's let them know that we are watching what they do and will hold them accountable. If they want to cut the budget with Military Retirements, let’s make sure that they do it across the board with ALL Federal Retirement plans, INCLUDING theirs. We'll see how long that lasts in Congressional Committee!

  162. I have written all three of the people that work for me in Congress. I remind them of the past mistakes Congress made with military pay and to beware the unintended consequences of what they do now.

  163. The wars we fight to save our country are not for saving America, but saving those countries that has not attacked America and don't have all the necessary equipment to do so, but our politicans get us involved, and Americam spends our tax dollars to help those that can't help themselves. If America would keep their noses out those countries. especialy the middle east whom has eaten our resources that is given to them free of charge, and now look at our country who is at near poverty level as a whole, not just 46% as the record indicates, we would be more wealthy, and also if we had a President with some back bone, who has never been in the Military, but is classified as America's Commander-in-Chief who don't even rate the title, as he don't even know what he is doing when he salutes an officer, and sometimes an enlisted man and don't know the meaning or understand what the protocal of the other military service that is represented in his presence means.

  164. If each congress person were required to spend one week each term (1 wk per 2 yrs) with a member of the armed forces from their district or state, we vets would get better understanding from congress. They would work where we work, eat where we eat, and sleep where we sleep. What a great understanding of the military they would have. Those serving on military congressional groups would serve one week per year (they need to know more).

  165. congress could not even run the whore house in vegas it took over without loosing money and everyone knows this

  166. Excuse me….but, what makes anyone think anything will change when the next batch of ding-dongs go into office. That is just the point. It makes no difference which one, which party goes into office. We just had 8 years of "Shrub," and folks were ticked off at his idiocy….so, they vote for the guy spouting CHANGE….and look what we got. Everything is being shaken up so that we will be "glaaaad" to see the next ding-dong who very well may be a WORLD Hitler. Our "leadership" keeps getting worse. Why is that? It seems to me that we have to decide to begin to yell at the top of our lungs, carry placards and act like loonies (we all know extremism is the only thing that brings change and improvement in anything) or we can sit down and be good jews as they lead us to the ovens. I should sign this too old and too danged tired for barking at a brick wall. I'd like to see some really old dudes tossing bricks at the right people….but, they'd just bring in the scoops….shades of soylent green. That is just about what our government thinks of us.

  167. I find the entire discussion of cuttting military retirement to be out of line. STOP IT NOW CONGRESS or you will all be looking for made possible by every retiree able to vote.

    THe comments above cover the waterfront… so I need not restate. I wouild state that it is criminal what the Obama Administration has infested our government with such ill trained, Obama agenda guided (all of which I am not sure are in the best interest of the US or its citizens) staffers, Secretaries of Depts, and CZARs. I cannot believe the backdoor to our nation is being passed through like a swinging gate to allow unprecedented, unknown, unpublished actions being taken in the dark of night… right before our very eyes!

    And… Congress is letting it happen!

  168. Navy 23 years says:

    No we are letting it happen…we elected the Congress!

  169. I seem to recall that when I enlisted and every time I re-enlisted, totalling 21 years of active duty service and three tours in Vietnam, I signed a contract spelling out what I was required to do and what I was to receive in return. I agreed to give this country 21 years of my life to do with pretty much as they pleased. I didn’t have a choice to accept or not to accept a set of orders nor did I have the option to just quit my “job” in the middle of an enlistment. To arbitrary decide to change the terms after the fact only goes to show that the government in general and politicians in particular have no sense of what a contract means nor feel the obligation to abide by the terms of those contracts. If the government feels the need to change the retirement system then they need to do so by defining a baseline date and anyone who enlists after that date falls under the requirements of the new system. Anyone currently on active duty or retired from active duty would continue to receive whatever terms and guarantees were in place when they signed the enlistment (re-enlistment) contract. In wanting to change the retirement system for current retirees the government is pretty much saying
    “We used you to do our dirty work. We don’t need you anymore so we don’t feel obliged to live up to the promises we made to get you in and keep you in. Tough luck, suckers!”

  170. Tiredofthem says:

    I've written several response to my elected officials about the proposed need to pay increased fees for health care. I was told, "if I see anything that is unfair, I'll look into it". Did you know that over the last ten years that Congressinal officials having voted themselves a $10,000 dollar pay raise each year? Ten years ago they made $75,000 per year, they are now making $175,000 per year and they don't even work. They talk alot and make up things they say they've done. But, honor their committment to the military is not one of the things they honor. Unfortunately, we serve or have serve at the whim of the sorverign government that change any deal that was made with you or me, for absolutely no reason, it's called, "for the good of the soverign". Wow! Look what they done to the soverign, lowered our credit rating, put us in a financial disater, lie through their teeth and, most frustrating of all, they don't listen to the very people that put them in office. "We the People" are the ones who wil solve our current issues and that begins with the next election cycle. Do what's right fire them ALL!

  171. John Zimmerman says:

    The proposal by President Obama that military retirees pay an annual fee for TRICARE-for-Life health insurance and that TRICARE pharmacy co-payments be restructured under his deficit reduction plan is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!

    Military members experienced ridiculously low pay while they served, then equally ridiculously low retirement pay, and are now expected to pay increases in their healthcare to “bring them in line with private healthcare funds.” That would make some sense if military members ever received pay and benefits that were in line with the private sector. However as their pay and benefits were always less than those of the private sector it is an abomination that they be asked now to pay what private sector beneficiaries pay!! It has been typical of our government to lure young men into serving their country with promises of benefits, only to have those benefits diluted, or eliminated by the time those young men retire, or worse, after the military members retire, when they can no longer alter their income to compensate for those changes!

    There is no logic in bringing the TRICARE plan more in line with private and other federal plans, no matter what the president, or Defense Secretary Panetta say. The “measurable disparity” that is quoted as existing between military and private workers is real enough, but that disparity has always placed the military member and their families in the lower tier when it came to pay and benefits. To tell them now that they must pay more for anything is simply unconscionable!! They have paid their dues with their years of risking their lives for extremely low pay. Calling such increased taxation “modernization” is a sleazy, deceitful and underhanded way of penalizing those who have already paid for their benefits by working for wages so low that they qualified for food stamps. Do not penalize them further with this insulting effort to make them pay for a benefit they have already paid for with long suffering at low wages while performing extremely hazardous duty.

  172. orionreplay says:

    It’s a must to keep all current military members grandfathered in. Lawmakers may name their date and draw a line in the sand, but all those new folks after that are “new plan”.

    Grandfathering is not a bad thing. As time goes by, those grandfathered in will shrug off this mortal coil, not replaced with another retiree. One could show on a graph depicting declining pensions against a horizontal time bar. Eventually all folks with the “old plan” pensions will be gone.

    Even current DBB estimates don’t begin to show savings until 20 years.

  173. CENTAG 89-92 says:

    There's lots of comments about politicians ripping us off, but let's not forget about those privileged millionaires who'd never allow their kids into the military.

    I expect all those elites combined don't have enough children in the military to fill a platoon. Yet the politicians protect those elites from making any sacrifice for this country.

    I'm no fan of the President, but he is right on this one…the filthy rich need to pay. Now all the Republicans who I've helped get in office tell me the elites are going to create jobs and get the economy going. When?

    The rich have had two years to improve this economy and the only jobs staying in the USA are the ones swabbing toilets and raking leaves off multi-million dollar estates.

    Rep. Boehner says the President is engaging in class warfare, but this is nothing new; but its been made worse by Wall Street and congressional cronies.

    I gave the Army and our Nation 34 years, but I don't intend to make any more sacrifices until the rich start feeling the pain.

    Let's impose our own term limits and vote out any incumbant regardless of party.

  174. Dayton Daily News Sept 20,2011 published an article written by James Dao and Mary Williams Walsh of the New York Times. "As Wahington looks to squeeze savings from once sacrosanct entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, another big sociall welfare system is growing as rapidly, but with far less scrutiny: the health and pension benefits of military retirees."
    Our military retiree pension is nor "a big social welfare system" it is an earned entitlement. It represents deferred compensation for 28 years (in my case) of service. During my career our pension plan was frequently referred to as deferred compensation and used to entice us to make a career of the military. It was an agreement. Earned compensation not social welfare..

  175. This isn't the first time they shafted the military! Back in 1932 they squashed the veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C., in the spring and summer of 1932 to demand immediate cash-payment redemption of their service certificates for service in WW I. We are easy targets!

    This website doesn't offer anything but a place to bitch. Why isn't there a link to send to our senators and congressman a letter voicing our distrust!

    We need to vote them out, period! The only way took fix this problem, get rid of the garbage!

  176. Why is it alway the ones that give their time and life for this Country get less and less!? When I got drafted, remember those days!!? I was promised FREE medical by the VA/U.S.A. So much for that! Maybe the next time there is a War, all the politians go in our place at the same pay we got!! I hope this country does not vote for the Texas Bush clone/R.Perry!! Anybody is better than him. He has not done a damn thing for our State!! Fact: there is 1 in 4 children hungry- think about it, he wants to be Presedent!! Yikes! Stop the the B.S. spending and fine Corporations $100.00 a day for every job that left the U.S. and bring those jobs back!! It's not Rocket Science!! And DADT! God help us! Next new uniform; Pink Cammies!!!! Go Seals! HT1/USNR-R with Pride!!!!

  177. There is a petition on Change.org called "Tell President Obama not To Gut Our Military Retirement", if anyone is interested in signing it.

  178. I definitely think the politician’s pay should be the first ones to get cut. Because of their decisions, we are in this economic mess. Instead, they will probably get another pay raise.

  179. Robert Abadam says:

    Unexplainable, Inexcusable

    No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.

    On Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?

    35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government

    Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

    This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.

    This is an idea that we should address.

    For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform… in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

    If each person that receives this will post it on their wall, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

    Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .."

    Now, what are you going to do about it? Read and delete, or work for reform? Share on the wall of EVERY congressman, representative, governor, the white house!!!!! Pass it around!!! Make calls, send fax's and email's……………

    • @Robert –
      Rather than listening to Fox news, go to the Senate website and get the truth. Congress is under FERS, same as our civil service brethren. A Representative CANNOT retire after 1 term. No congressman can EVER retire at full pay (the max is 80%, by law, and they'd have to serve 47 years to get there). They earn a retirement pension at 1.7%/year, vested after 5 years, payable at age 62. If they serve 20 years, they can retire at age 50 with 34% of the base pay of their last 3 years.

      No, their dependents are NOT exempt from student loans, no Congress is NOT exempt from most laws (including the fact that their health care system, the same as the Civil Service, FEHBP, is approved under the new Affordable Healthcare Act).

      Before you go to your Congressman with your complaints about how he his paid/what applies, you better be sure you're correct, or he will politely escort you out, then ignore your ignorance.

    • http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/28thamendm

      Some details on how that meme is false. Please educate yourself before posting

  180. Robert Abadam says:

    Unexplainable, Inexcusable

    No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.

    On Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?

    35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government

    Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

    This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.

    This is an idea that we should address.

    For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform… in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

    If each person that receives this will post it on their wall, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

    Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .."

  181. chemdog1949 says:

    When those that continue to empty the pockets of Americans in general and retirees in particular, take a substantial cut in their pay, then and only then will I be willing to give up a like amount of my retirement pay.

  182. I am amazed by our current crop of politicians and, particularly, the administration. It seems to me that the only way to ensure benefits to our fighting men and women and retired personnel, is to immediately declare that we are "unionized!" If we are part of a union, none of the political elite would risk touching our benefits. It's a sad commentary of what we had become in this nation. The Washington elite declare their admiration and support for our men and women in uniform and thier families. In reality, they are only a target In the great budget battle. We can only hope that their aim is bad!

  183. MSG Retired says:

    There are those in Congress that say that military pay should be paid along the lines of civilian pay. Are they talking civilian pay like police officers, firefighters, Border Patrol officers? Then that would bring a PVT., Boot or whatever the lowest rank is for whatever branch of the service up to approx. $35,000/year (average) just for basic training. After that it would go up from there. Can you imagine a SGT. with, say 4yrs. in, making in the range of $60K to $70K per year. That is roughly what police officers are making without overtime.

    Our military is 24/7/365 and no OT pay. Let's see if those Washington pencil pushers would work for a whole lot less than what they are making without any retirement and see if they are willing to remain on their jobs. I would love to make $400K+ a yr. and make that rest of my life with free medical and other benefits.

    I can ONLY dream!!!!!!

  184. LIKE I SAID BEFORE AND I WILL SAY AGAIN YOU GO AHEAD AND DESTROY OUR RETIREMENT PLAN IM OUT! AND SO IS EVERY GREAT NCO AND OFFICER THAT IS BATTLE TESTED WITH NUMEROUS DEPLOYMENTS! HOW CAN ANYONE SAY THE MILITARYS RETIREMENT PLAN IS OVER-RATED!!! WE DONT MAKE ANYTHING A YEAR!! THERE A JERK’S WORKING IN THE CHOW HALLS IN AFGHAN MAKING 90K A YEAR!!!! WHY NOT GET RID OF THEM??? I DONT MAKE HALF OF THAT NOR DO I GET TO SEE MY KIDS EVERYNIGHT ON SYKPE BECAUSE THE INTERNET OVER HERE IN AFGHAN IS TOO MUCH DAMN MONEY!!!BUT ALL THE CIVILIANS DO!!! MY ENTERTAINMENT IS GETTING SHOT AT, BLOWN UP AND WATCHING BOMBS BLOW UP EVERYWHERE….NOBODY UNDERSTANDS THE SACRACFICES MY TROOPS TAKE BY LEAVING AMERICAN GROUND AND GOING INTO AFGHAN GROUND!!! BOTTOM LINE YOU CHANGE OUR RETIREMENT PLAN AND THIS GUY WITH 6 TOURS OF DUTY 4 IN IRAQ AND 2 IN AFGHAN IS DONE..AND I WILL PROMISE YOU MY VOICE WILL BE HEARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GOTTA GO!!!!!!! I HAVE SOME FREEDOM WORK TO DO!

  185. Regarding Obama's reelection attempt in 2012: Remember what the Who sang in the 60's:
    "We Won't Get Fooled Again"

  186. SO THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD DO THAT WANT A MILITARY CAREER…STOP…RUN FOR LOCAL GOVT JOBS,STATE JOBS AND CONGRESS THE WORK CONDITIONS AND BENEFITS ARE BETTER THEN 24/7 JOB IN A TENT IN A WAR ZONE…….

  187. Enter text right here!Those who serve 2, 4, 8 years, etc. get nothing when they leave the military under the current system. I believe overhaul is long overdue so that anyone who serves becomes vested and can cash out or roll their retirement into a civilian IRA or employer sponsored fund. I also think it''s time for individuals to contribute to their retirement, even if it's a small deduction from their pay.

  188. Congress will keep attacking the military retirement system to find money to fund those pork barrels for their respective districts. During this time of budget cuts all over the federal government, military budget cuts will and always be in their mind since most of these lawmakers did not serve and have no idea what we do to earn the benefits we have been promised and entitled to. It is such a disgrace to our servicemen and women for congress to always target our pay and entitlements. It is so PATHETIC…

  189. I suggest that congress stop getting their benefits-for-life, and have THEM only receive 50% retirement. It would still be far more than most veterans but the money saved by doing that would be millions.

    Additionally, if we kicked out the illegal aliens and stopped giving them ANY "entitlements", we would recoup billions. No more hand outs for the takers, and a billion thanks, and a secure retirement to those who genuinely sacrificed!

  190. Dave, MSG RET says:

    Politicians and government officals should be looking for ways to improve and increase our retirement benefits rather than reduce them. We should receive the same benes that they get. If thats not doable then they should receive the same benes we get. They should also be finding ways to pay our soldiers more and increase their families standard of living IE: housing, mwr, px and commissary prices etc. If this bunch of nuts can't get it right then we need to unite and put the out of office. Let them go out in the job market and see how the public reacts to their resume. I am also wondering why our vet organization aren't being more active in opposing these issues. AUSA, American Legion, VFW, Amvets where are you? get the mailing campaigns started don't weait until the politicans enact these benefit changes and then tell us how hard you fought againt them. Help us unite , let's take bus trips to Washington . A roaring lion will be heard.

    • So you want our retirement accrual at 1.7%/year (theirs) instead of the current 2.5%/year? You want us to have to contribute to our retirement like them? You want to pay for your healthcare like they do (while active)? You want to not collect your retirement until age 62, like them?

      Be careful what you ask for – you may get it.

  191. vote them out, vote vets in.

  192. Larry J. McNair says:

    Congress needs to leave the military retirement system alone. We earned it. When was the last time a Congressman or Senator went on deployment for months on end, or did a tour in Iraq or Afgansitan? NEVER! I have an article from the local newpaper in the editorial section. A 5-point plan to fix Congress: 1. Term limits of 12 years- 2 six year Senate terms, six 2 year House terms, or one six year Senate term and 3 two year House terms.

    2. No pension. A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when out of office.

    3. All funds in the congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise along with the consumer price index, or 3 percent, whichever is lower.

    5. Congress must equally abide by all laws its members impose on the American people.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their terms, then go home and back to work.

    Being in the military isn’t like being a civilian. Military is 24/7, for ever how long you enlisted for. Congress needs to remember who actually keeps this great country of ours free.

    • Please see my earlier post with the link to Snopes on this. Hint – they already have worse benefits than us, obey the same laws as us, have a worse retirement system then us, etc.

      Before reposting viral e-mails, first check out the truth. when it seems outrageous, it probably is wrong.

  193. What more need be said? For present new enlistees into the military, a new retirement plan is not unthinkable.But to maintain its numbers, the Monthly pay check is going to be much higher. What I find unconscionable, is the encroachment into a promised "reward" after serving 20+ years in the service. The retirement pay is scant, but it was a known entity when most signed up. There are no bases near me to take advantage of any of the services that they may still offer. There are several discount stores close to me, that provide a less costly product than any BX,PX I've been in. Maybe a free membership card should be provided by the military to all its retirees,and active duty personnel in lieu of the non existent PX. VA services should be available only to acutely injured members, for all the others Tricare,Or what erver new entity that replaces it can provide care.,

  194. Chris Wells says:

    Well check out that New York Times article. It was written by a guy mnamed Doa(sp) who referred to the military retirement program as "another social welfare program that needs overhauling." Sorry dude, I served 33 years and four wars. I did not sit on a poarch with my hand out. I worked 24/7. I love people who write articles about things they no nothing about. Maybe the next plane to hit NYC will take out the Times building.

  195. Joe Harrison says:

    If congress guts military retirement, the United States will become a 2nd or maybe even a 3rd rate military power much like the soviet union.
    I also read an article stating military retirees get Tri-care for life. That is not entirely true because at age 65 military retirees must register for medicare. They can still use tricare as a supplimental insurance.

  196. TROOPSUPPORTER says:

    Hey congressmen! This is an "ALL VOLUNTARY MILITARY FORCE". If you take away the pension benefit, what possible incentive would there be for a person to put his life on the line as a career? Patriotism goes only so far in feeding a family. For most of you I have this question, WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD TO TAKE A BULLET IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? God bless our troops. Not only do they deserve a rich retirement, but they also should get FREE HEALTHCARE FOR LIFE. I'm disgusted with the way you treat our servicemen and women, like a piece of paper that needs shuffling.

  197. I am absolutely sick of Panetta saying "Everything is on the table" and then going straight to compensation and benefits for the military. Why not reduce operations? Why not eliminate the horribly expensive systems acquisitions that we don't need and can't afford? Why not cut DOD civilian jobs? Why not an immediate across the board cut in pay for all Elected and Appointed government officials? Why not a medical plan for those so called leaders, that pays the same as Tricare contract, i.e. 8% BELOW what Medicare pays?

    There is no job out there that comes close to the deployed military existence, yet they want to put the cuts on the backs of those most vulnerable – our military, veterans and retirees.

    It is definitely time to fire EVERY one of our so-called leaders, elected AND appointed, including all the Flag and General officers (such as Mullen) who have forgotten what it means to serve – they are so entrenched in politics that they've lost the big picture.

  198. Howard McLaughlin says:

    Howard C McLaughlin ·

    What about cutting free medical care, welfare, and free education for illegal aliens, instead of taking away our hard earned benefits?
    The military, and military retires have paid in advance for our shrinking benefits, unlike the illegal aliens! (Illegal means illegal not honored guest.)

  199. These are the same Congressmen and Senators that feel the $100000 plus a year pay they get is not enough because they have to work long hours and might get shot at. They cry about needing more money but want to take away from everyone esle. The military members work long hours and most of them do get shot at and even shot and all you hear them ask for is to be taken care of….is that asking to much? Granted it is an all volenteer service but did anyone make the Congressmen and Senators go into politics? Why can they have the best medical care that our tax dollars can buy but not the military members? Is that fair? They should ge no more then the average military member gets for pay and have to use the same medical that they do. What makes them feel they are so special that they are abouve everyone else. We voted them in office we can vote them out. As far as them getting a full pension after only 4 years that needs to go away as well. What other job in the US gives a pension after 4 years. None! It is a federal job is it not?

  200. At this point, I just HOPE that the current administration, if faced with a choice, will continue with military retirements as opposed to the welfare system. Perhaps they will use some common sense (which is in short supply) and pay the retireds instead of the folks standing around with their hands out.
    At this juncture, and with the pending elections, I would guess that the Dem.-in-charge cares more about votes than what is really important and necessary

  201. Seems like Amerika is becoming a land of oppertunity for everyone but folks who work hard. People on welfare ( I have a friend who has 7 kids, only works part-time because he has to to collect benefits), gets food stamps, walks into the hospital (flashes his” I’m on welfare card”), dosen’t have to pay anything for his medical services, people in other countries are getting our jobs as companies continue to outsource, despite all the TALK illegals are still getting benefits they have not worked for.
    Seems like now that the Navy Seals have killed Osama Bin Laden and our forces were victorious in Iraq, well it seems like there is a war going on against fellow Americans. A different type of war a war where no bombs are being dropped, a war in where no tanks are roaming the streets, but a different type of war. A war AGAINST people who are trying to work, trying to raise their families, trying to do good!!! A ecomomic war. A lot of people who run this country ( politicians and corporate leaders alike) are venting their hate, bigotry, and frustrations out on the regular Tom or Mary here in America. Seem like there is a war against fellow Americans.

  202. 401k-s are how the private sector cut pensions: offer shiny cash up front, and if you are "unlucky" enough to live so long that the money runs out, tough on you!
    Extending such a system to our military has so many problems I don't have enough fingers to count them on, but wait and see – the argument will be that the current system is "more generous than the private sector". What is never argued is that the private sector should return to actual pensions instead of defined contribution plans.
    Divide and conquer – that's their strategy.

  203. Before they do that take a look at public sector pensions. Probably the most similar jobs. Cops & fireman. Paid way more to start with, Got overtime, Never left their home town. Now get 6 to 10 times the pesion.

    To be more specific one of my classmates became a Cop I went in the service. For 20 years he worled grave shift and slept in his govenment vehicle, never got promoted. I went is the military traveled all over the world and was never home,Worked all kinds of hours 7 days a week for minths on end, advanced to the top of my specialty. We retired at the same age. His pension is 6 times what mine is.

  204. SMSgt (Ret) RES says:

    Until our President, his cabinet, Vice President and a high number of Congressman / woman walk the walk, it's easy for them to talk the talk and continue to erode our entitlements as active duty / retired military persons who allows / allowed them day to day freedom. Enough is enough! Wake up President Obama, VP Joe Biden, Sec of Defense Leon Panetta and Congress (to name a few) and enjoy your freedom so sacrificed by a few and leave us active duty and retired military alone! Clean your house up first!!

  205. Senior Spy:
    This a distraction and a set up. The CinC will do anything to get your eye off his record of failing our USA; even blaming the military (and its expensive retirement system) as being the problem behind the budget that will fail (wait for it) and debt. Joe Citizen gets taxed more because the greedy military did it to him. Bad, bad G.I.'s. Goal: Separate the military from the people. Return to the draft. Raise mercenaries. Black helos'.

  206. I wonder if the Defense Business Board developed those recommendations while chewing on those $16 muffins and sipping $8 coffees.

  207. Frank Corona says:

    Re the proposed changes to the military retirement system, does this effect those already retired or those who will retire after or if the bill passes.??

  208. Replace the current military pension system with a "401k"… That's brilliant!

    Now our GIs can risk their lives for 20 years doing a job for much less than their civilian counterparts… THEN LOSE EVERYTHING WHEN THE 401k GOES BELLY UP WHEN IT'S TIME TO RETIRE… Just like their civilian counterparts!

  209. Funny, the report back in April said that the CPI was at 2.9% and that it would generate the largest COLA since 2009. HMMMMMM Looks like Obama is skipping out on not only paying us on our COLA but he's trying to dip into the kitty to get himself out of trouble. I say we cut the Congress and Senators pays first and see how fast they balance the buget without touching our bennefits!!!!!

  210. The following article is on the web. Sounds like its time for the draft again. Now all the nay-sayers can join the fun – we'll see how it long this chitchat lasts. I suggest we press our supporting politicians to press for this COA and get the draft back in.

    "WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Armed Services Committee chairman is warning that further reductions to projected defense spending could make a military career so unattractive that it would force the Pentagon to revive the draft.

    Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., suggested that spending cuts beyond the $350 billion that President Barack Obama and Congress agreed to in the debt accord this past summer could force the military to slash the number of service members, now some 2.3 million, including National Guard and reserves."

  211. They dont understand that we were and are on duty 24/7 and have worked many times 18 hours a day in heat or cold and in rain and snow to get the job done, we spend many months away from family and take some times more crap than any one in civlian world would ever have to take. So trying to take away isant the answer but they shoulkd be thinking of how much more they can give the military,,,I assure them this that pissing off the military people will come to bite them in the ass come election day,,,

  212. Wally Holley says:

    I have just recently written my State Representantives, and reminded them that they work for & represent our interests. I aksed if they were willing to make any sacrifices in their annual pay increases as well as a cut in pay & retirement benefits. i served my country for 24 years,with the promise of full medical care & retirement of 50 % my base pay for 20 years of honorable service. I met my commitment serving honorably, while away from my family for a gret deal of those 24 years.We hired these nimrods, & they should all be terminated, none should be career polititions. I hope the American people wise up to the consequenses of of voting these types of polititions into office. They say that all politics is local we should all start looking closely at each of our own representatives, & let them know, that we hired them, & we can fire them, & we should.

  213. Don't jsut express your hate and disagreements here! Write your REPRESENTATIVES!!!!
    https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

  214. I am retired 20 years also disabled vet and Soc. security and 63 years old. Soc. security tells me I can earn $780. a month with out any change to my pay but the VA tells me I can not earn a penny and if I do I will lose all my Va. pay. So now were are told that we make to much money and they need to take our money from us. I get by but some times I wish I had done something else with my life. When I here congress talking about taking more from us who served with all our heart and sole. It just makes me sick. We can say all we want but it is clear they dont give a shit if we live or die. The only thing we have for sure is each other just like we always have.

    • Run, don't walk to the nearest DAV. As far as I know, there is no restriction on earnings if you are receiving VA disability. I know many who receive 100% and are working.

  215. I am so sick of hearing the bitching of the overpaided and worthless congressmen and women when they talk about the militarys retirement. Look at their pay, which the mijority do not earn and the retirement and benefits they receive. How about it if they took a pay cut and reduce their benfits. You would really hear some screaming .

  216. broken promises are nothing new for the government,ask ant vet. how about if
    we all showed up at the same time and returned our medles like during the Viet
    Nam war protests.
    totally discusted,
    23 year vet

  217. I agree why cut the Miltary retirement money our soilders have worked very hard to make our country a safe one risking there lifes everyday.Its ashame whenyour active you make all that money in Military then when you retire after serving 27 years almost hafe or over is taken away not right.Now they wanna cut it more and they are very slim on our insurance where is the APPRECIATION of reconizing our soilders?????? for all there hard work!

  218. Sandra Hasaan says:

    We need a mandatory draft so badly in this country. Now that we have "Don't ask don't tell" out of the way. There are no more excuses. Maybe if some of these overpaid over privileged government family members have to serve, it will change their attitudes. I also move that no one be allowed to hold public office of any sort unless he/she has prior military service. Time to stop coddling other people's children.

  219. Those of us who have served in the military have an obligation to fight as hard as we can to vote out these miscreants in Congress who haven't the slightest idea what it means to serve in the military. Any retirement program that replaces the current defined benefit pension is doomed to failure. No one in their right mind would stay in the military for a career if their retirement package was a 401K style retirement. That is not deferred compensation; it is trickery and deceit. If it happens our military may as well be outsourced!

  220. Tsgt, USAF, Ret. says:

    Of the 535 "honorable" members of the U.S. Congress, 261 are millionaires or mufti-millionaires! The wealthiest among them is worth in excess of $300,000,000! The lowest salary a member of congress " earns" is just a little over $700,000 per year! (Plus benefits, retirement and we cannot forget the generosity of the many, many lobbyists!) Instead of looking in the pockets of the military retirees they should be looking in their own deep pockets to find a way out of the terrible debt hole they have dug for us all. There are very few of them that deserve or warrant being re-elected. Pay attention to how your representatives VOTE, they will talk and say whatever they think will appease you and get your vote. How they vote in congress is what really tells the truth about how much they really value the American Military.

    • Not certain where you get your figures on Congressional Salary. the lowest is $176,000/year, out of which they pay for retirement, SS, medical, and, yes, taxes. It's a good wage, but a long way from $700K/year. Your entire argument is shot down by presenting such bald falsehoods.

  221. Jim Williams says:

    Before revolution is declared, exactly WHO said WHAT and WHEN?? HOW are present benefits to be impacted??

  222. John Starnes says:

    When I joined the Navy I earned $77.10 a month! Years later as a retired LDO I was required to forfit a chunk of my retired pay per month because I accepted a position at NASA. It was called the Dual Compensation Act which did not apply to reserve officers or enlisted personnel. Now that I am retired they want to attack my benefits. We should all come together – officer, enlisted, reserve and retired. Collectively I believe we can make some changes in DC.

    Retired LCDR, USN

  223. It is an ABOMINATION to even consider reducing military / retiree pay & benefits. Obama, Pelosi, Holder & the rest of the tree-hugging crowd have always held contempt for us. They are trying to "Hollow" the force, first by instituting their liberal, social agenda, now by attacking the few entitlements that brave folks earned. We need to make our voices heard! Those politicians that support ANY change to pay or benefits should be required to brief the larger military installations, ie: tell thousands @ FT Hood, Norfolk, Colorado Springs, Camp Pendelton, etc. Get rid of these traitors, no matter what their political affiliation is! Bob Casey is one of them. He defended 1% pay raises.

    • How long does approval from site administrators take? I never get to see my comments. If they are approved, they are impossible to find. Not that I need to see my name in print. I just want to see if others agreed with me.

  224. I AM NOT HAPPY WITH THE INTRUSION ON OUR RETIREMENT AND HEALTH BENEFITS WE EARNED. I AM NOT HAPPY WITH THE BUNCH
    IN WASHINGTON DC EITHER. THIS AMERICA HAD BEST WAKE UP IF IT ISN'T TOO LATE ALREADY. I AM NOT SORRY I SERVED MY COUNTRY; HOWEVER, I AM READY FOR THIS NATION TO TAKE THE BULL BY THE
    HORNS AND CLEAN HOUSE. WE NEED PERSONS WITH COMMON SENSE TO REPRESENT OUR NATION TODAY! THE HAND WRITING IS ON THE WALL. IF WE DO NOT ACT AND TAKE BACK THIS ONCE GREAT
    NATION LEGALLY BY SPEAKING OUT AND DEMANDING THE TRUTH – THEN WE ARE JUST AS BAD AS THE ONES IN CHARGE NOW. PLEASE
    WAKE UP AMERICA AND REALIZE WHAT IS HAPPENING! REMEMBER
    GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE AND PRAYER CHANGES THINGS.

  225. dimaggio0077 says:

    Vets needs to file a class action lawsuit against government over cola cuts for the last 3 years. Bring the disability class back up to middle class income of 50k per year for the 100 % S.C. WE EARN IT WITH OUR BLOOD AND GUTS TO PROTECT THIS COUNTRY AND AMERICAN FREEDOMS.

    • On what basis? COLA has been set by law since the 1970's – but inflation has been down the last 2 years. Fortunately, when prices go down, the COLA is 0%, not negative.

  226. VET NEED TO READ. S.C. USED TO MIDDLE INCOME IN THE 70'S AND 80'S. THE FAREST THE VA GO BACK IS 1999. 100 % S.C. WAS 24432. PER YEAR AND MIDDLE INCOME RANGES BETWEEN 23K TO 33K AVERAGE PER YEAR. THE VALUE HAS DROP TO PRESENT TIME. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_… PLEASE READ.

  227. I have faith in our elected officials simply because they all knows that if we can negoiate with "Goverments" like Pakistan who appeared to have worked with the enemy. I then can't "Rationalize America's Veterans being denied by it's on Lawmakers???? This is because we are Americans First and we take care of our own!!!!!!!

  228. Retired for 30 years after serving 30 years and NOW. . . . .
    they have SUSPENDED my military retirement monthly pay

    WHY. . . . . .?

    They say because I am receiving CRSC. . and why not
    Two years service in Nam, I should be entitled to it !

    Honorable Discharges means. . .HONORABLE SERVICE !

  229. Maybe Congress will change their minds about cutting active and retired pay for the military if SEAL TEAM 6 dropped in on them to testify and demonstrate a real live mission. Does Congress really know that the "retired military" are still under standing orders with a duty station to report to when ordered to "move out". We will stand TALL while Congress goes to HIDE in their cave. We will take care of Congress in time of war THE SAME WAY THEY TAKE CARE OF US AT A TIME OF PEACE…

  230. James Gustafson says:

    You civilians have absolutely no idea the sacrifice involved with missing multiple birthdays, holidays, 1 year plus of your familiy's life, barely missing IEDs intended for you when the "friendly" Iraqi or Afghani Army tells you that the IED is "over there" as opposed to "over here", etc. I have over 20 years in and I have had enough. But I feel sorry for those who have less and I try to prepare them as best I can. At least they'll have the company of those egghead, wide-eyed civilians who thought this was a good idea when a draft is enacted due to the mass exodus.

  231. concerned says:

    Pretty soon they will have to start up the draft again because there is not to much to look forward to being in the service and putting your life on the line any longer. They have been cutting in the medical side of the house for a while. Lets face it they told us that if we stayed for 20 plus years that the soldier and dependents would be cover medically for the rest of our lives (husband and spouse) they changed that now they want to change retirement. I don't know that I would recommend the military to anyone now.It's as though nothing is set in concrete anymore and we know they will sure as hell lie to us. The people could sure as hell get tired of this stuff. Those politicians should start looking at themselves and quit acting like a bunch of kids and do what there suppose to be doing. They should really take a look at the "pork stuff". This business about medicare and social secrurity and veterans retirement is not right remember we all get old someday and Mr. Politician you will to what goes around comes around.

  232. plannedahead says:

    Currently serving. Grew up as an Army brat. Joined for several reasons and not going to lie: planning on staying for the benefits. However, if they pass this DBB I can tell you that I’m gone. If there is no incentive to stay, why should you? This “team” that proposed this plan obviously never served; the sacrifice and hardship that the service members AND their families endure well deserves a retirement pension. I like how Congress gets the choice of cutting paychecks and pensions (such as the last few recent almost government shutdowns), but they don’t feel the heat *please note the sarcasm*. If they pass the DBB, I sure hope they’ve got some sort of magical trick up their sleeve to keep the Army’s quota up because they’ll have an Army of junior Enlisted/Officers and no one to lead. I agree that all service members deserve SOMETHING; many of them deployed multiple times, escaped death by the skin of their teeth, lost friends, lost family, were put down and spit on by the very ones back home who are able to express their civil rights BECAUSE said service member sacrificed. Don’t take away one of the only silver linings left for service members who have given. All gave some, some gave all.

  233. Has anybody heard anything about the possibility of our COLA being adjusted? From what I gather, retirement COLA has not been adjusted since 2006. Thanks!

  234. In the Reagan years they reduced retirement rate to 40% at 20 years. That worked until troops reached the 8 year mark and left in large numbers, knowing it was not worth doing twenty years, until the change was repealed. Troops will foot with their feet if this 'business approach' is applied. Once the volunteer force walks way the choice is to provide the pay and benefits to the troops or bring back the draft. I think it is time to bring it back the draft and share the service without exception, no deferments..

  235. Clearly the solution is to move this expense off the books. Instead of having a citizen soldiery the DBB should simply hire more mercenaries on private contracts charged to some Washington slush fund or other. I understand any number of contractors are willing to risk combat situations for nominal salaries of between $120-$250K per annum, plus benefits, transportation, per diem, unnaccountable expense allowance, uniform allowance,weapons and amunition allowance, meals, housing, communication benefit, paid vacations and R&R, emergency medical care, long term medical care, insurance, liability indemnity, first class accomodations, unit chefs, household servants, and anonimity. Sounds like a real bargain. What are we waiting for.

  236. cynthia durand says:

    This whole idea of cutting the military benefits baffles me so much.what the hell are they thinking.you just don't cut the benefits of the ones that are protecting our country.I will write in again to try to do my part to help to stop this proposal from taking place.This must not take effect.

    • This government is F*cked up why not tax the congress retirement not the soldiers. I bet to any that reads this THERE WILL BE LARGE RIOTS IF THIS IS PASSED. This is only another one in a million reasons why i doubt this countries Government!

  237. All I have to say is: The congress has done it again! These heartless bastards just want Money for themselves. They get paid for making people's lives miserable, and they just sit down and live in their mansions not worrying about anything. If they were to tax on retirement then why not just tax the politicians. They go around spreading lies about how great this country is when we would be better off living in new zealand eating kiwis for the rest of our life than serving in the military. The politicians will BURN IN HELL!

  238. woundedwarrior says:

    Anyone that lost money in 401k over the last decade knows what a stupid idea this is….

  239. What really needs to be explained here is will the proposed changes to the current retirement system affect all Retirees or only those who retire after a set date?

    • Reservist says:

      Did you ever get an answer to this? I am in that situation as a Reservist who is retirement eligible and would like to know if I should retire before this takes effect.

    • this will only efect new retiries we are grandfathered from any changes
      like any proposal they are tempoary once the new rules change then most likely the military will be hollowed out then again there are alot of brain dead folks in the military that don't even know what they make at there rank
      but if my retiredment is change then I change my name and ss and rejoin
      unless there is an age cut off

  240. These men and women sacrafice day in/out and go into harms way daily some even come home disabled not to mention missing kids growing up ect. for measley pay as it is. Politicians that be want to discuss taking the military retirement what little 50 % they get after 20 years of service which is taxed. You are probably not aware of this but these very same peopleget a 100% retirement to include 100% medical coverage for them and there family after much less time in service 0 % while the military members family will have to pay for there's. These are the people we entrusted long ago to balance the budget but because they cannot do there JOB and come up with a solution everyone suffers because of it. Here are some suggested measures to balance the budget 1.) Execute death row inmates 2.)Why build elaborate prisons to feed and house them. House them in tents like Arizona does. furthermore their families should pay to feed them not the american tax payer who did not raise that person. 3.) If you are gonna cut the military and their benefits how about politicians lead by example and match it with their retirements and medical benefits. 4.)If you are not a legal citizen no medical attention will be provided at the LEGAL tax payers expense.

    • Actually the congress's retirement is a common misconception. They do not get 100% ever, the max they can get is 80%, and that is only after putting in a very large amount of time in office. I believe they all have to be in for at least two terms just to get any form of retirement at all. Forgive me if am not perfect in my numbers, but I know that they do not get 100% after just being in for a few days etc as is commonly thought.

    • It is called the service not we owe you for ever enough is enough. We can no longer afford these benefits. If a guy stays 25 plus then he can draw at 62. No more 20 and start at 38 then work and draw form the post office, or other government job, and SS. WE CAN NOT AFFORD IT. If he is hurt in war then he draws and recieves medical. If not let him like the rest of us get his own medical also, enough is enough.

      • Fred, yes it is called the SERVICE, and the brave men and women who join are obviously more in tune to that than you. And just in case you didn't know these brave men and women ALSO have to pay taxes just like the rest of YOU. So in a since they have to pay for there own benefits. And if you think it is a regular job, be my guest and join, YOU probably have never spent months or years away from your family, while being shot at, blown up and in conditions you can only imagine. But you are the type that thinks everyone else needs to sacrifice while you draw your government check, you make me sick. So until you've been there and made those sacrifices how bout you keep your mouth shut, ITS PUT UP OR SHUT UP. And in case you didn't figure it out I am a twenty year vet. And one more thing why do you think that YOU can no longer afford it. If those individuals in offce did there jobs correctly they could balance the budget, just like the rest of us in this country have to do instead of over spending on pet projects.

  241. David White says:

    If you break your promises you are equal to the troops who break theirs and walk away from military service when the going gets tough. They are called deserters and cowards. Now that I consider it, that pretty well describes our politicians as a group. Leon Panetta and the entire Obama administration are traitors and deserve to be judged as such.

  242. James Asher says:

    When young people in this country get the word that our Government has broken so many promises to those that have served their country in the military service faithfully for twenty or more years they will think twice before enlisting. It is shameful that our President, current Senator's, Representative's and high level officials in the Department of Defense refuse to honor commitments made by their predecessors. Honesty and integrity are essential attributes required of our leaders if this country is to remain as a strong and prosperous nation.

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Amen!

      Let us begin to save dollars wasted on the welfare system BEFORE taking away what our servicemen and women have EARNED. A Military pension and VA disability are given to people who have sacrificed for our country!
      If we have no young people with the inner desire and heart to serve then what will become of the US? Let us STOP the handouts to lazy citizens that just feed off of a broken welfare system. STOP having children if you cannot pay for their upbringing. I should not have to pay for anyone to have 6-8 children by 4 different fathers.

  243. All these Congressman and senators are going after the Military why don't all the Military groups let it be know to Congress unless they are fair in the budgets cuts then Congress will be fair game in the future elections. The Congressmen that are so anti Military teir names will be published in our news letters and they will not get our or our families votes. We will get someone that is fair.

    • I WOULD LIKE A LIST OF THE CONGRESSMAN TO DO THE SAME THING YOU WILL DO (THANKS

  244. We have to vote out all congresspeople and senitors and make the new ones take the same benefits that the people that they are supposed to represent.and get that dumm ass present out of office before he takes over as a dictortator . I can't believe there are people in this country that think that this ass is going to help people. if he gets this health bill passed they will find out and it will be to late.

  245. Chuck McGrath says:

    My wife and I just left H&R Block filing our 2012 tax return. We're both retired E-7s from the Navy. We noticed our pensions had been reduced 5% – or about a thousand dollars a year. H&R Block said it was the result of a new way to compute pensions. Exactly when did this take place. Why is this not a national scandal. We know our government is corrupt, but amazing how they can wrap themselves in the flag, send us to war, thanks us for our service and then take money out of our retirement checks. Please someone read this and forward to New York Times.

    • Don't we think it is time for all of the retired military family's to take a trip to Washington (better known as the ignorant village on the river) and tell the in person what we think if we showed up in mass it will give an idea of what they are facing….you notice they are not taking any money from the retired people from their office and do you think they will give a piece of their retirement……..I THINK IT IS TIME TO TAKE A TRIP

  246. I joined the Marie Corps in 1975 and was led to believ that I and my family would have free or reasonable medical and dental coverage. That isn't happening. Now after I have served my time in hell they want to take away part of my retirement just to cover their mistake. If they need money to balance the budget lets look at the cost of politicians going on vacation with family and with current elected officials taking multiple trips that aren't needed. How can we the people have access to these free plane rides around the world. Cuts should be made but not at the expense of my retirement!

  247. Dorothy Ott says:

    First lets start at the top with the president then go down. Leave our military alone. They deserve every penny they get. Cut the pork barrel. From all I hear it is useless anyway. Way to many government programs and other places to cut, but not our military men and women. From this citizen of the U.S.: Leave them alone!

  248. I agree with you. Even our Military Leaders are kicking us to the curb. The now deceased Osama Bin Laden stood up for his people better than our leader stand up for us!!